Cougars rally past Lisbon for strong win
Spencer Trenoweth, who had a 56-yard touchdown run for Dirigo earlier, battles for some tough yards on this play. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
DIXFIELD -- The Dirigo football team knew it had to be prepared for anything in a season-opening Campbell Conference game Friday night.
Brett Whittemore scored on a sneak and Heath Hersom rushed the conversion for what proved to be the difference. The Cougars came from behind in the second half for a 28-14 triumph over Lisbon at Harlow Park.
The game was delayed due to thunderstorms. It wasn’t the weather, but Dirigo appeared to be in a fog when Lisbon took control throughout the first half. But when push came to shove, it was the Cougars’ ground-and-pound game that paved the way.
Lisbon led 14-8 when a short punt provided Dirigo with excellent field position, and Whittemore directed the drive from the Greyhound 38-yard line. Spencer Trenoweth gained eight of his 201 yards. Speedy Nick Young ran for two first downs to set up first and goal. Whittemore followed the interior line to score. Then Hersom bounced over the left tackle to give the Cougars their first lead with 8:04 left to play.
“We struggled a lot, but the captains picked us up in the huddle. As far as the turnaround, it shows this team has a lot of heart. Still, we have a lot of work to do,” said Trenoweth.
The Dirigo defense came alive and completely shut down Lisbon quarterback Kyle Bourget and the running game in the second half, holding the Greyhounds to three yards. The Cougars’ Nelson Pepin, Zack White and Thomas Barnett secured the line of scrimmage. Jack Brown and Reilly Lombardi each had interceptions in the fourth quarter.
“Lisbon had our number in first half,” said Dirigo coach Dave Crutchfield. “They were jumping to our motion and we had trouble in red zone. We have some good young backs, but they need to be tougher and hit the holes.”
Lisbon had blocked a punt in Cougar territory and fullback Kyle Sheehan scored on a burst. Jordon Torres rushed for the two-point conversion.
Dirigo responded on the ensuing drive. Trenoweth broke away for a 56-yard TD and Hersom rushed the conversion.
The Lisbon defense was stout with Mason Haley and Joe Philbrick. Lisbon drove into the red zone and Bourget picked up a fumble and scored early in second quarter.
“The kids knew we was still in game at halftime,” said Crutchfield. “They needed to settle down and execute. Plus we got out in the flat and prevented Lisbon from from running around the corner. Because once we hit them they couldn’t go.”
The Cougars swept away Lisbon with TD runs by Barnett and Trenoweth.