TURNER — Leavitt grabbed momentum from Lawrence to start the game, and did it again to end the first half Friday.

The Hornets, once again, took care of a tough team, this time beating the Bulldogs 34-20.

Leavitt improves to 5-0.

The Hornets recovered a Bulldogs fumble on the game’s opening kickoff, and finished up the ensuing drive with a 4-yard TD pass from Noah Carpenter to Nick Morin.

“I didn’t think it was going to start like that, but when it happened, I was like, ‘All right, let’s go. Let’s score,'” Carpenter said.

Starting on offense first allowed Carpenter to get going early, as he completed his first three passes of the game on the opening drive.


“I think it did (get me in a rhythm) because I just started going from there,” he said. “You know, first play, got a little out to Sawyer (Hathway), and then from there we put it in the end zone and just kept rolling.”

The Leavitt defense then forced a turnover on downs to halt a promising Lawrence (2-3) drive, and after the offense went three-and-out the defense squashed another drive into Hornets territory with a fourth-down interception by Dayton Calder on the first play of the second quarter.

“We always talk about a big thing for us is getting off the field on third and fourth down,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “So whether it be with a turnover, or just a stop, or whatever, that’s a hug emphasis for us all the time. We just feel like if we can get off the field on third downs, then we get the ball back to our offense and we can get cooking.”

The Hornets needed only six plays to go 94 yards, capped off by Carpenter’s 49-yard touchdown run. A two-point pass to Sawyer Hathaway made it 14-0.

The Bulldogs quickly moved the ball into the red zone, but fumbled into the end zone on the fourth play of the drive, giving the ball back to the Hornets.

“It was another mistake, which was very, very frustrating. But certainly kids aren’t out there trying to mistakes,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “But the fumble cost us. I think the penalty for holding in the first quarter, that was unfortunate at that time, to be down in the red zone. So those are the things that we have to just clean up.”


Carpenter ran in from 4 yards out for another touchdown to make it 20-0.

Lawrence finally found the end zone, as Michael Hamlin connected with Tate Scott for a 15-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 21.7 seconds left before halftime.

That was just enough time for the Hornets to get the final say before intermission.

“I mean, we’re going for it,” Mike Hathaway said. “We got the ball around midfield on the return. We’re like, ‘Ah, let’s take a couple shots.'”

The drive, which began at the Leavitt 33, opened with a completed pass by Carpenter to Hathaway for no gain, after which the Hornets called timeout. Carpenter then ran 19 yards and out of bounds to stop the clock with 5.6 seconds left. He then chucked a deep spiral down the left sideline to Hathaway, who out-leaped a defender before running the rest of the way for a 48-yard touchdown as time expired.

“When we came back (out of the timeout), Sawyer had double coverage over there, but he just thought he could out-height him. He just said, ‘Throw it up and I’ll go get one,'” Mike Hathaway said. “So that’s what (Noah) did, he hung it up there and we went and got (a touchdown). That was a big play going into half, for sure.”


Carpenter found Nick Morin for the two-point pass, giving Leavitt a 28-7 lead going into the locker room.

“That was really big. It definitely was a little momentum swing. Definitely a lot of happy feelings after that, going into the locker room,” Carpenter said. “But we knew we weren’t finished, and we came out and tried keeping doing what we were doing.”

The Hornets added to their lead in the third quarter when Carpenter and Hathaway connected again, this time for a 33-yard touchdown.

“We felt pretty good about that play at halftime. We kind of drew that one up and said, when we get the right field position, we’re going to go for that,” Mike Hathaway said. “And Sawyer and Noah, they throw that route all the time. So that was a good one. Great way to start. Good protection from the (offensive line) too.”

Parker Higgins scored on a 26-yard touchdown run for Lawrence with 5:03 left in the game to make it 34-14. The Bulldogs added one more TD when Preston Roy scored on a 5-yard run on the final play of the game.

“I think our kids felt pretty good in the second half that we were able to continue to drive the ball like we did in the first half,” Hersom said. “So a lot of credit to them, for our kids to come out strong, especially with the (touchdown) right at the last second of the first half. That could have broken a lot of teams’ backs, but we stayed tough and we accomplished what we set out to do, and that was to run the football and try to play good defense.”

Higgins finished with 27 carries for 176 yards. Hathaway said the Bulldogs’ senior is “one of the best backs in Maine, no doubt,” but that he thought the Hornets’ defense did a decent job of keeping him contained.

Carpenter led a Leavitt offense that accrued more than 200 yards rushing and passing. He was 12 of 19 passing for 207 yards, and added 122 yards on the ground on 11 carries. The Hornets as a team ran for 206 yards on 27 total carries.

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