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In a week late and a dollar short, Dirigo played successfully in its season-opening football game against Maranacook at Ricky Gibson Memorial Field of Dreams. It was inadvertently omitted from being printed last week.
The Cougars was shifted to Class D because the Maine Principals Association relined football teams- based on enrollment- thus adding a fourth Class. The Cougars are no strangers to being in CD because in 1975 they were co-champions in the league.
In the season opener, Tyler Frost and Gavin Arsenault each scored touchdowns in the first half and then the Cougars had to slam the door on an attempted rally and left the lakeside with a 13-8 win.
Late in the first quarter, Maranacook had the ball inside its own 20 and tried to punt. It was blocked by Joe Casey and Tyler Frost jumped on it in the end zone for a TD.
Dirigo had a stout defense, led by Frost, Jack Brown and Dylan Kidder. The Cougar defense had sent a message in first quarter, Gavin Sanders caused a fumble and Kaine Hutchins recovered it.
Zach Demars snared the first of five Dirigo interceptions- Riley Robinson and Hutchins also picked off Black Bears quarterback Kyle Morand. A punt resulted in Gavin Arsenault returning it for a 63-yard TD. Demars kicked the PAT for a 13-0 lead at the half.
''Our offense needs a lot of work,” said Dirigo coach Dave Crutchfield. “Defense wins championships and special teams won the game tonight. It's nice to have Gavin Arsenault in the fold as a game changer.''
Maranacook opened the third quarter with its own trickery and recovered an onside kick. Several plays later they scored and made the two-point conversion rush, but Dirigo had a 13-8 after three quarters.
Maranacook moved the ball using their big lineman blocking, in fourth quarter and the ball in red zone, but with two minutes left, Robinson got his second interception of the night in the back of the end zone. Dirigo was unable to move the ball and punted. Frost intercept the ball with less than 30 seconds left to secure the deal.
Robinson was four of 12 for 56 yards passing. Hutchins had three catches or 47 yards while Heath Hersom had 12 rushes for 50 yards.
Mountain Valley has cross country for the first time this century. The Falcons will run a full schedule of events, said athletic director Al Cayer. There is both a boys' and girls' team and the runners are competing in the Mountain Valley Conference. A pair of volunteers, Laura Columbia and Lacey Todd, are the coaches.
In a 5K race at Telstar last Wednesday, Shawn Bennet finished seventh in 20:40. Teammates Tim Fitzpatrick and freshman Caleb Austin were 23rd and 26th, respectively. The program entered a dry spell, since Jeff Turnbull coached the Falcons. The Falcons and Cougars will each share a bus.
The competition is heating up at Dirigo, based on results on the Telstar course. Megan Morrison and Krystal Blood finished 10th and 13th, respectively.
''Morrinson and Blood each finished ahead of my number one runner,'' said coach Gunnar Bradbury, referring to Jessica Conant in 16th. ''It's a good thing, in the sense that the two know that they can beat her, but at the same time Jessica has to realize that she must train harder.''
Ashley White is home schooled.
They boys are led by Eric Cantin (sixth), Seth Tashney (18th) and Larson (25th).