FAIRFIELD — The Lawrence student section chanted “Warm the buses!” In the first quarter. Obviously, they knew what was up.

Parker Higgins ran for 177 yards and two touchdowns and Gavin Wilson intercepted Mt. Blue quarterback Jayden Meader three times as the Bulldogs routed the Cougars 68-15 in a matchup of Class B North teams battling for playoff position Friday night at breezy Keyes Field.

Lawrence (3-3) took advantage of five turnovers by Mt. Blue (3-3). Five of Class B North’s 10 teams had two or three wins entering Friday’s action.

The Bulldogs turned in a complete effort one week after a 34-20 loss to Class C South front-runner Leavitt. Higgins added an interception of his own and recovered a fumble on Mt. Blue’s first punt return of the game, which set up the first of quarterback Michael Hamlin’s two touchdown passes.

After his 8-yard bootleg gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game, Hamlin hit tight end Lucas Campbell for a 15-yard TD strike, followed by a 13-yard scoring pass to Gavin Lunt with 4:50 left in the quarter. Kicker Matix Ward made the third of seven extra points. Lawrence led 21-0 and the fans made the call for the buses.

“It was a good night for us,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “We really prepared as well as we could this week, and we got things going in the right direction right away in the first quarter, having the field position and having that momentum.”


While the offense did its thing, Wilson and the defense made sure Mt. Blue stayed away from the end zone.

The junior’s first interception came off a pass deflection at the Mt. Blue 25-yard line in the first, which set up Hamlin’s second TD toss. His second, early in the second, also came off a deflection and set up a Higgins 86-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a 28-7 lead. His third, later in the period, was a leaping effort at the Lawrence 42 when Meader (13-for-24 202 yards, one TD, four interceptions) tried to force a pass over the middle.

“Our defensive coach, Coach Pell (Jason Pellerin), is a big supporter and he helps me every day with our coverages,” said the soft-spoken Wilson, who added that he might have had “a few” games like this before. “I’ve been working hard on defense in practice and everything.”

Added Hersom: “We’re trying to get our secondary better; it’s kinda been one of our Achilles heel, struggling to get into the right coverage. That group is working hard, so they did have a better game tonight.”

Lawrence’s Tate Scott ran for 99 yards on five carries, highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown jaunt down the right sideline in the second. Higgins (9 yards) and Braden Littlefield (1 yard) added TD runs later in the period, and Colton Carter scored one of Lawrence’s two TDs in the fourth, after both teams emptied their benches.

One week after a triumphant 39-38 win over Messalonskee, Mt. Blue had trouble controlling the ball. In addition to the turnovers, the Cougars let a couple snaps sail behind them on punt attempts, giving the Bulldogs excellent field position.


In the second, it appeared Mt. Blue might get back into the game after the big-armed Meader found Charles Stevens all alone for passes of 68 and 21 yards, the second of which resulted in a TD and pulled the Cougars to within 21-7 after Brody Walsh’s extra point. But two of the next three drives ended in interceptions, sandwiched around a fourth-down pass deflected by Lawrence’s Cohen Lawrence, and that was that.

“We made some mistakes early, and they capitalized on those, and we got in a hole and we had try to dig ourselves out,” first-year Mt. Blue coach Matt Friedman said. “I was proud of my kids; they fought back as much as they could, and it wasn’t our night.

“I feel like we had some open receivers throughout the night. I think maybe the wind kind of messed us up a little bit, but I put that on myself. I think we should have had a little more balance; we were able to run the ball later on, and we thought we were going to have to throw the ball more, and maybe we committed a little bit too much to it.”

Cowen Young led Mt. Blue with 40 yards on five carries.

Mt. Blue pulled off a couple nice plays in the fourth. On fourth-and-12 from the Cougars’ 22, Steve Galkowski ran 19 yards on a fake punt play, which set up a 57-yard TD pass from Klay Dunning to Alex Rackliff. Dunning added the 2-point conversion to complete the scoring.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.