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Cougars rally past Black Raiders
WINSLOW -- It wasn't deja-vu for Dirigo when they buckled up Saturday afternoon for their Class C Campbell Conference football game, because it was the Cougars who took care of business.
The objective is to simply play hard, execute with the ball and stay in control, which Dirigo accomplished against Winslow in rallying for a 32-21 win. Dirigo quarterback Brett Whittemore passed for 170 yards and three touchdowns in engineering a fourth quarter surge. Spencer Trenoweth rushed for 170 yards, had nine receiving yards and two TDs.
"It's all about the offensive line," said Whittemore, crediting guards Jack Brown and Austin Bernard; tackles Cliff Boynton and Zach White and center Joey Hebert. "They set things up (blocking) which allowed both our passing and running to execute."
It was a matter of inches that derailed the cougars on two fronts last year as Winslow scored on a forward fumble and then Dylan Hapworth added the extra point for a 28-27 overtime thriller in the first-ever contest between the two programs.
The rematch game at sunny Poulin Field was filled with peaks and valleys as Dirigo trailed 21-18 entering the fourth quarter.
An illegal procedure negated a Justin Jasper TD run, but Whittemore threw TD passes of 35 yards to Trenoweth and 21 to Nelson Pepin. The former was set up by a White fumble recovery and the latter when Cougar linebacker Thomas Barrett spearheaded a Winslow three and out.
“We have confidence in our defense,” said Trenoweth. Dirigo had rallied to beat Lisbon 28-14 in their season opener. "Winslow was gaining yards against us with criss-crosses, so we needed to adjust.”
Dirigo (2-0) led 18-7, but Winslow scored on its two possessions in third quarter on Joseph Hopkins runs to regain the lead.
“Our outside linebackers was getting sucked in by those criss-crosses,” said Dirigo coach Dave Crutchfield. "They just needed to hold off from pursuing the fake. The offense was moving the ball and then the defense made stops.”
Winslow (1-1) pounded the ball on the ground and Dylan Hapworth scored on a 19-yard run to lead 7-0 in the first quarter.
Dirigo responded with a 65-yard, 11-play drive, completed by Whittemore sneak.
On the ensuing possession, Winslow recovered a punt when the ball hit a Dirigo player. They drove to the two, but Cougar Zach Demars recovered a fumble in the end zone.
On the next play, Trenoweth (who rushed for 201 yards against Lisbon) broke free for a 80-yard TD run. The defense stopped Winslow near the red zone and three plays later Whittemore threw to Nick Young, who sprinted for a 60-yard TD. Reilly Lombardi was sidelined following a clean hit.
"We stepped up and played tough,” said White. “We came to play and held them when we needed to.”