PORTLAND — Donald Goodrich didn’t get to carry the ball much during the regular season for Cheverus because of senior halfback Spencer Cooke, who was having an outstanding season.

When Cooke got injured in the final regular-season game, Goodrich got his opportunity in the playoffs. Suffice it to say, he made the most of it.

Goodrich, a junior, scored five touchdowns on the biggest stage of the season, and fullback Brent Green added two touchdowns to lead a relentless ground game that carried Cheverus to a 49-7 romp over Lawrence for the Class A football state championship Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

And in the best of both worlds, Cooke, a senior co-captain, saw his first action in the playoffs. Though still hobbled by a broken bone in his lower right leg, Cooke entered at the end of the third quarter and got nine carries for 16 yards in the fourth quarter.

The Stags (12-0) completed their second straight perfect season, running their winning streak to 24 games. In winning the state title last season over Bangor, 46-8, Cheverus didn’t pull away until the second half. Against Lawrence (11-1), the Stags took charge from the start.

“It all starts with our running game and our defense,” said quarterback Cam Olson. “It’s been that way all season.”

Olson helped break the game open early with two long passes to Louie DiStasio. He also recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass.

“It feels great,” said Olson. “I knew what I had to do.”

Cheverus scored on its first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead. Green scored the first one, followed by Goodrich’s first two touchdowns.

The Bulldogs cut it to 21-7 with 7:13 left in the first half, briefly creating hope that it might be a competitive game after all, but Goodrich put that notion to rest by returning the kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.

“The kids played really well,” said Cheverus Coach John Wolfgram. “It was important to jump on them early. Donald played very well and so did Brent. We had a nice balance. Our playmakers made plays.”

Cheverus’ defense stymied the Bulldogs, forcing five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles).
The Stags ran up the middle with Green and off tackle with Goodrich at will.

“I love my line,” said Goodrich. “They’ve done a great job all season.”

Green carried the ball 20 times for 183 yards, while Goodrich had 17 carries for 149 yards. The Stags did all their passing in the first half, with Olson completing 4 of 5 passes for 126 yards.

The first two times Olson put the ball in the air, DiStasio, a 6-foot-4 wide receiver, got behind the secondary each time for a pair of 46-yard gains.

The Stags got the quick start they wanted when Olson, who doubles as a defensive back, had a Lawrence fumble bounce straight up to him. It came at the end of a 16-yard completion from Lawrence quarterback Alex Leathers to Luke Lawrence.

Starting from the 49, Cheverus used seven running plays, with Green scoring from the 1.

Spencer Carey of Lawrence returned the kickoff 39 yards, but on third down, defensive back Liam Fitzpatrick intercepted a pass at his own 35. He returned it for a touchdown, but the play was called back because of an illegal block.

Starting from their 24 after a procedure penalty, the Stags needed only three plays to make it 14-0. Olson hit DiStasio again for 46 yards, Green ran for 25, and Goodrich scored from the 5.

Goodrich added a 1-yard run before Anthony Sementelli of Lawrence scored on a 52-yard run.

Green ran 36 yards on the first play of the second half, dragging several tacklers with him. Five plays later, Goodrich scored from a yard out.

Green added a 1-yard score on the next series to make it 42-7, and the Stags closed out the scoring on Goodrich’s final touchdown, a 52-yard run.

“The second time feels a lot better,” said Olson. “It’s an unbelievable experience to play and compete against a team like Lawrence. Physically, they were right there with us, but we executed so much better.”

Late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs reached the Cheverus 9, but on first down, Olson intercepted a pass at the goal line and returned it to the 11. That led to the Stags’ final score.

“We gave Cheverus a short field in the first half and they took advantage,” said Lawrence Coach John Hersom. “Cheverus is a great team and Coach Wolfgram does a great job of changing formations to keep you guessing.”

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:
[email protected]
Twitter: TomChardPPH