FAIRFIELD – As far as style points go, the Lawrence High football team is a T-shirt and a pair of faded jeans. Not fancy, just getting the job done.
On Saturday afternoon at Keyes Field, the Bulldogs kept it simple. They ran the ball well and stuffed Messalonskee’s strong ground game. The result was a 27-0 win for the Bulldogs, and a return trip to the Eastern Class A championship game.
Top-seeded Lawrence (10-0) will host No. 2 Cony (8-2) in the regional final next week.
It was the second shutout in as many weeks for Lawrence over fourth-seeded Messalonskee (6-4). In last week’s 21-0 win over the Eagles, the Bulldogs gained just 109 yards on the ground. In the rematch, Lawrence ran for 373 yards.
“We know who we are, as far as what we’re doing well. We want to continue to do those things,” Lawrence Coach John Hersom said.
Anthony Sementelli ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, while Josh Doolan gained 134 yards and scored twice on 17 carries for Lawrence.
“We worked on our passing game, too, this week,” Sementelli said. “We added a couple more plays to our passing game, but we knew we had the edge in our running game. We just didn’t show it last week. We came out this week and shoved it down their throat.”
Doolan scored on a 1-yard run with 6:22 left in the first quarter to give Lawrence a 7-0 lead. A 24-yard run by Doolan early in the second quarter made it 14-0, and Sementelli scored on a 15-yard run with 47.3 seconds left in the first half to push Lawrence’s lead to 20-0.
“They played a little bit tougher than us up front,” Messalonskee interim coach Chapin LaBelle said. “We played tough, I thought, for the first quarter, then it got out of hand when they got that third touchdown before the half.”
Messalonskee never got closer to the end zone than the Lawrence 39. The Bulldogs held the Eagles to 84 yards.
WATERVILLE 31, BELFAST 14: The Purple Panthers held off a third-quarter comeback bid and beat the Lions in an Eastern Class B semifinal at Drummond Field.
Waterville (6-4), the No. 6 seed, knocked off No. 3 Hampden Academy in the first round and now advances to face No. 1 Mt. Blue (10-0) for the regional title. No. 7 Belfast, which upset No. 2 Leavitt, ends the season 5-5.
DIRIGO 13, OAK HILL 6: Thomas Barnett broke up a pass on fourth-and-6 from the Dirigo 19 with 1:18 left, and the Cougars (8-2), who took the lead on two long touchdown runs by Spencer Trenoweth, held off the Raiders (8-2) in a Western Class C semifinal at Wales.