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Cougars hold off Seagulls
DIXFIELD -- Dirigo held together after being pushed to the limit in its Class C quarterfinal playoff football game Friday night. It was also a big test for the seniors.
Nick Young sprinted away after having caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Brett Whittemore that covered 91 yards. The TD pass proved to be the difference en route to Dirigo's hard fought 19-14 win over Old Orchard Beach at Harlow Park.
Spencer Trenoweth was on a mission and scored two touchdowns while gaining 176 yards on 19 carries. At the same time, the Cougars' defense bent, but didn't break and stopped OOB from driving the ball late in the fourth quarter.
Dirigo (7-2), which dropped to the No. 3 seed, welcomed the opportunity for redemption against No. 6 Old Orchard Beach. Despite having identical records, Dirigo felt it had the upper hand; having beaten four of six playoff teams.
"We were mad," said Trenoweth, regarding the team mind set. "We actually argued, but we came together as a team when we needed to. On offense, we were concentrating on three to five yards at a time."
OOB scored on its first possession of the second half when Joe Gildard sprinted 45 yards down the left side for a touchdown. The Seagulls had received solid field position after Dirigo was stopped on a fake-punt attempt.
Dirigo responded on the ensuing possession when Young drew single coverage. The speedster was split wide right and Whittemore (6 of 12 for 146 yards) led Young in stride.
“A win is a win," said Dirigo coach David Crutchfield. "We were running away from the power because OOB was moving Quincy Grace to the power. Our runners were hitting the holes hard."
Dirigo advances to play the winner between Lisbon-Oak Hill in a Campbell Conference semifinal tilt, next week. The Cougars beat Lisbon 28-14 in the season opener, but was dismantled by Oak Hill, 33-0, last week.
OOB scored on a 10-yard run up the middle by Bryan Roberts and Jim Strohm kicked his second PAT to trail 19-13 with 9:03 to play.
After a sloppy first half (Dirigo had seven penalties for 65 yards), Trenoweth scored on runs of 26 and 25 yards, the latter with 1:19 left in second quarter. Tyler Frost gained 45 yards and caught a 45-yard screen pass.
"We had success running up the middle," said Frost. "The line was blocking well."
The Cougars gained 265 yards rushing and had 14 first downs.
"Old Orchard Beach was coming after Brett," said Crutchfield. "I told him not to be scrambling around back there."
Dirigo fumbled a punt at its own 10, but the Seagulls were held and missed an attempted field goal. The Cougars' Heath Hersom and Zack White each recovered fumbles. The Seagulls' Zack Seamans intercepted a pass.