LISBON — Lisbon, with a two-touchdown lead, had its backs against the wall as Bucksport had the ball less than a yard away the Greyhounds’ goal line on fourth down with about six minutes left in the game.

The Greyhounds stopped the Golden Bucks and held them off thereafter to earn a 34-20 Class D football victory Saturday.

“We have just three seniors but I think we’re getting better every week,” Lisbon (2-3) head coach Chris Kates said. “We had a rough start, obviously, but we are trying to build on it and get better every week.”

Bucksport’s (2-4) failed fourth down turned into a first down at the 1-yard line for Lisbon and sophomore quarterback Jimmy Fitzsimmons. 

“It was a huge stop,” Fitzsimmons said. “I am not sure what the plan was, but then I was just making sure I didn’t get a safety.”

Lisbon’s offense drove to the Bucks’ 36-yard line before punting, then the defense forced four incompletions on Bucksport’s final drive to seal the win.

They Greyhounds, who have won two straight after starting 0-3, started strong Saturday and built a three-score lead early in the second quarter.

On their first drive of the game, Fitzsimmons and Colby Levasseur took turns running the ball before Jack Ramich broke a 38-yard touchdown run up the left sideline for the first score of the game that put Lisbon up 6-0. 

“He’s a tough player for us,” Kates said about Ramich. “We probably have him out of position, just out of need, but he’s played well, adjusted well and made some big plays for us.”

Fitzsimmons took the bulk of the carries during the next drive, running for 61 yards including a 31-yard touchdown. He then kicked the extra point to extend Lisbon’s lead to 13-0 lead with 5:41 left in the first quarter.

“It was really our blocks that were coming in, they were developing and they gave me an opportunity to bounce outside and get up field,” Fitzsimmons said. “The offensive line was great, the protection was perfect and the holes were perfect. They were biting outside on defense, so I went up the middle and got up the field.”

On defense, Lisbon’s Chance Versey started the ensuing Bucksport drive with a sack of quarterback Ayden Maguire. Levasseur later made a tackle for a loss, and the next play Landen Dewitt stripped Maguire and forced a fumble that Lisbon recovered. 

The Greyhounds’ next drive stalled and they attempted a fake punt that was unsuccessful. However, two plays later Lisbon forced and recovered another fumble, giving its offense possession at its own 45-yard line. 

“Defensively, we got after the ball in the first half and I think we kind of let up a bit in the second half and struggled some, but I thought we adjusted and our kids were pursuing the ball and the second guy was trying to strip it out,” Kates said.

Fitzsimmons completed a 25-yard pass to Ramich then ran up the middle for a 30-yard touchdown run that made the lead 19-0 early in the second quarter.

Fitzsimmons racked up 190 of Lisbon’s 298 rushing yards in the game. 

Bucksport came up empty on its next two possessions, including losing its third fumble of the game, before finally scoring on its final drive of the first half when Maguire found Ty Giberson over the top for a 47-yard touchdown pass to cut the Greyhounds’ lead to 19-6. 

Lisbon, though, wasn’t done. The Greyhounds started their next drive at their own 45 with 25.3 seconds left in the first half. Fitzsimmons connected with Caanan Cameron on back-to-back throws to the left sideline, making gains and stopping the clock. Fitzsimmons then ran 8 yards for a second first down of the drive and spiked the ball with 3.5 seconds left.

Fitzsimmons then found Mason Booker in the end zone on a 28-yard touchdown pass to give Lisbon a 26-6 halftime lead.

Cameron sacked Maguire to end Bucksport’s first drive of the second half. On their second drive, Maguire and Giberson led the Golden Bucks down the field on the ground, amassing 60 yards before Josh Miller ran the ball into the end zone from 2 yards out to cut the deficit to 26-14 after Maguire scored the two-point conversion. 

On Bucksport’s next drive, Miller scored again, this time from 55 yards out to pull within 26-20 right before the end of the third quarter. 

Ramich countered by finding the end zone again, this time on a 13-yard pass by Fitzsimmons. The two connected again for the two-point conversion to put Lisbon up by 14 points, 34-20. 

Players agreed after the game that the young Greyhounds have been improving throughout the year. 

“The team has just been getting better,” junior running back Caleb Levasseur said. “Since Week 1 the team has improved each and every week and our team is starting to click together. Figuring the chemistry out.”

“There’s good chemistry now and we are going to do some damage this year, I hope,” Fitzsimmons said. “It takes a little bit to get on the same page as the older guys.”

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