YARMOUTH – Lisbon had experience. Lisbon had history. Lisbon had the lead for most of the game.

Yarmouth had a freshman quarterback and a coach who didn’t want to put too much pressure on him.

Yarmouth Coach Jim Hartman knew something: “He’s the fastest kid on the field. … All he had to do is get that corner and he was gone.”

With a little more than four minutes left in the Western Class C final, Brady Neujahr finally got that corner.

Running an option for the first time all afternoon, he burst off right tackle and ran 65 yards up the sideline for the touchdown that gave the Clippers a 14-12 victory over Lisbon before a crowd of about 1,000 at Yarmouth’s synthetic turf field on an unseasonably warm Saturday.

The victory vaulted Yarmouth (11-0) into the Class C final for the first time in the seven-year history of a program that attained varsity status only three years ago. Yarmouth will play Eastern champ Stearns (11-0) next Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

It didn’t come easily. Yarmouth and Lisbon (9-2) had met once before, the Clippers winning 16-14 on a last-minute field goal by Bryce Snyder in early October.

After practice Friday, Hartman learned Snyder wouldn’t be available as a punter or place-kicker because of tendinitis in his knee. On Saturday morning, Hartman told Billy Clabby to handle kickoffs, Dennis Erving to punt and Nick Proscia to kick extra points.

So what happened Saturday afternoon?

Erving’s punts pinned Lisbon inside the 10 on four separate occasions, three of them in the second half.

Proscia kicked the decisive extra points in addition to catching a 6-yard scoring pass from Neujahr late in the first half, anchoring a stingy Yarmouth defense at middle linebacker and grinding out 94 yards rushing on 18 carries to complement Anders Overhaug’s 109 yards on 15 carries.

“We knew it was going to be a grudge match,” Proscia said. “Lisbon is definitely a tough team but we wanted them again, just to prove we could play with the big boys and the first game wasn’t a fluke.”

The Greyhounds, who lost their starting quarterback and a two-way lineman to academic ineligibility after their first playoff game two weeks ago, raced out to an early 12-0 lead.

Their opening drive covered 52 yards in 11 plays, highlighted by a 12-yard scramble on fourth-and-10 by sophomore quarterback Ryan Riordan, and ended with a 1-yard scoring plunge by Tobey Harrington.

A pass for the 2-point conversion failed.

Yarmouth drove inside the 20 on its next two possessions, but each time Lisbon held fast and took over on downs. Moments after Asa Arden of Yarmouth was tripped up a foot short of a first down, Riordan threw a perfect strike to Josh Pomerleau streaking up the right sideline, and Pomerleau never broke stride on an 87-yard scoring play. Zach Splude was stopped a yard short on the conversion attempt, but Lisbon led 12-0 early in the second quarter.

It might have stayed that way until halftime, if not for a Lisbon fumble inside its own 10. Proscia recovered at the 7, and soon connected with Neujahr for the 6-yard touchdown pass that, with the successful kick, made it 12-7 with 2:36 to go in the half.

The Greyhounds wasted two good chances to regain a two-touchdown lead in the second half. Late in the third quarter, Mike McNamara faked his regular rugby punt and carried across midfield for an apparent first down, only to have his 17-yard run negated by a holding penalty.

Early in the fourth, after an Erving punt was down by Yarmouth at the 1 and the Clippers were thinking safety, Splude broke through the middle for a 74-yard run. Overhaug saved the touchdown by chasing down Splude from behind, and Yarmouth’s defense made a stand of its own to take over on downs at its 16.

A pass and two runs moved the Clippers to the 35, from where Neujahr put the ball in Proscia’s belly, then pulled it out and ran untouched for the winning touchdown.

“They all bit down on Nick, then he hit that block on the corner and I just saw a seam right up the sideline,” Neujahr said. “I got in the open field and said no one’s catching me.”

Lisbon failed to complete any of four passes on its next possession, and was denied a final chance by running into the punter with less than two minutes remaining, allowing Yarmouth, with a new set of downs, to run out the clock.

“For a freshman quarterback to come out and play with his poise — no turnovers, he ran the huddle, he didn’t throw an interception,” Hartman said. “He was outstanding.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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