Despite a 6-2 record and the No. 1 seed in Eastern Maine Class B heading into Friday’s semifinal game against Skowhegan, the Brunswick High School football team had not benefited from gamechanging turnovers.

There have been opportunities, like six fumbles against Lawrence, with the Dragons failing to recover one.

The fifth-seeded Indians were not as lucky, as Brunswick linebacker Nick Dodson recovered a pair of fumbles, and Brady Larson added an interception for good measure as the Dragons pulled away in the second half for a 42-28 victory.

Brunswick (7-2) will host secondseeded Cony (7-2 and a 41-15 winner over No. 3 Messalonskee) this upcoming Friday in the Eastern B title game, with the winner heading to the University of Maine in Orono Nov. 22 for the State Class B championship.

The win overshadowed a superb passing performance by Skowhegan quarterback Adam Clukey, who was 27-of-37 for 363 yards and four touchdowns. But, three costly turnovers did in the visitors and served to fire up the Dragons.

“I think the turnovers were definitely a momentum changer, and when I saw the ball pop out I just went for it,” said Dodson of his fumble recovery at the B-35 late in the second quarter with the game deadlocked 14-14. “The turnovers in the second half allowed us to go back on offense, and we were able to score and pull away.”

“We had to make some plays, and fortunately that turnover was a big one for us,” said Brunswick coach Dan Cooper, who now will prepare for Ben Lucas and the Cony Rams. “It’s another week of preparing for a spread team, something we seem to be doing nearly every week. Our Achilles Heel at times is our pass defense, and we know that we will have our hands full next week.”

Good start

Brunswick scored on the first play from scrimmage as running back Ryan Maciejewski followed the lead block of quarterback Larson and scampered untouched for a 65-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead just 17 seconds in.

“We have never had a quarterback that can really hit that kickout block and open a hole,” said Dragons running back Lucas McCue, who rushed for 240 yards on 22 carries.

“We couldn’t have planned a start like that,” said Cooper. “Skowhegan made things difficult. They spread the field and threw the ball all over the place, and they ran the ball well when they did hand off. Their receivers made some unbelievable catches and just played well.”

After Clukey hooked up with DJ Allen (71-yard TD pass play) and Owen Mercier (11-yard strike on fourth down) for a 14-6 Skowhegan lead, McCue scored on another Brunswick quick strike, darting through the Indians line and going 74 yards to paydirt. Larson threw to Alex Bandouveres for the 2-point conversion and a 14-14 tie with 4:06 left until halftime.

After Brett Gilbert returned the ensuing kick-off to the B-45, the Indians picked up a first down at the Dragons 30-yard line. But, a bobbled exchange of a hand-off from Clukey to Kaleb Brown resulted in a fumble, with Dodson beating two Skowhegan linemen to the ball for a big fumble recovery.

Bandouveres plowed over several Skowhegan defenders for a 24- yard gain, and three plays later Larson dove in from the 1-yard line for a 22-14 halftime lead for the hosts.

The teams combined for over 500 yards of total offense in the first half, and things began quickly in the second as the Indians drove 70 yards with Allen hauling in a Clukey 18-yard pass for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion failed, keeping the Dragons in the lead, 22-20.

Brunswick struck right back. McCue swept right for a 44-yard gain to the S-13, and finished off the drive with a 7-yard TD run. Adam Casey tacked on the extrapoint kick for a 29-20 game.

“The sweep was working real well, and once we got our down blocks, there was a lot of room,” said McCue, who added his third touchdown early in the fourth quarter from 15-yards out for a 35- 20 Brunswick lead.

Dodson’s second fumble recovery gave the Dragons the ball again, and Maciejewski followed the offensive line of Dodson, Jacob Duffy, Logan Ouellette, Casey and Josh Thibeault for a 10-yard score and a 42-20 advantage.

Indians finish strobng

Skowhegan finished the scoring with 2:24 remaining on a Clukeyto Ben Salley TD pass.

“We are for real, and I feel that we can contend,” said Dodson, who believes his squad has a lot of work to do to top Cony. “We still have to establish the physical run game and work on our passing game to beat Cony. It will be a test.”

Maciejewski added 126 yards on nine carries, Bandouveres chipped in 62 rushing and 21 receiving, and Will Bessey picked up 58 tough yards as the Dragons, who rushed for nearly 450 in a 47-26 victory over Skowhegan on Sept. 27, gained 505 on 54 carries.

Brown led the Indians with 89 yards rushing, while Allen (eight catches, 147 yards), Salley (8-84), Gilbert (5-44), Mercier (4-39) and Brown (2-49) hauled in Clukey passes. On defense, Nathan Morris and Gus Benson each had eight tackles for Skowhegan.

Duffy had 11 solo stops for Brunswick, with Dodson (six tackles), Larson (four tackled, INT), Josh Mays (sack, three quarterback pressures), Pearson Cost (three passes defended) and Taran Payne (two passes defended) chipping in.

No. 1 Brunswick 42, No. 5 Skowhegan 28

Eastern Maine Class B Semifinal
At Brunswick
Skowhegan—8 66 8—28
Brunswick — 6 16 7 13 — 42
First quarter
B — Ryan Maciejewski 65 run (kick
failed), 11:43.
S — DJ Allen 71 pass from Adam
Clukey (Kaleb Brown pass from Adam
Clukey), 6:06.
Second quarter
S — Owen Mercier 11 pass from Adam
Clukey (run failed), 4:26.
B — Lucas McCue 74 run (Alex Bandouveres pass from Brady Larson),
B — Brady Larson 1 run (Lucas McCue
run), :23.
Third quarter
S — DJ Allen 18 pass from Adam
Clukey (pass failed), 8:39.
B — Lucas McCue 7 run (Adam Casey
kick), 7:01.
Fourth quarter
B — Lucas McCue 15 run (run failed),
B — Ryan Maciejewski 10 run (Adam
Casey kick), 8:09.
S — Ben Salley 5 pass from Adam
Clukey (Owen Mercier pass from Adam
Clukey), 2:24.
Records — Brunswick 7-2, Skowhegan
Up next for Brunswick — This upcoming Friday at home against No. 2 Cony
in the Eastern B title game, 7 p.m.

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