BRUNSWICK — There was a little something for everyone Friday night as Brunswick held off a resilient Falmouth football team 27-25 in a season opener.

The victory wasn’t secure until three Dragons pulled down Falmouth quarterback Nick Mancini at his own 30 on the final play, wrapping up a wild second half.

“What I found out,” said Falmouth Coach John Fitzsimmons, “is that there’s a heart in these kids. They never quit.”

The Dragons opened a 6-0 halftime lead with both teams making numerous mistakes. Between them there were 13 penalties before the break.

Three times in the second half, Brunswick opened a double-digit lead but could never quite pull away.

A 47-yard touchdown run by Cam Hathaway seemed to seal it with 6:31 left, giving the Dragons a 27-17 lead, but Falmouth responded with an 11-play drive and overcame its fourth delay-of-game penalty.

Mancini connected with Brady Douglas for 17 yards with 2:43 remaining and again with Jackman Graiver-Webber on a 2-point conversion to make it 27-25.

Brunswick recovered the onside kick by Sam Pausman, whose 35-yard field goal midway through the third quarter cut Brunswick’s lead in half at 6-3.

With Owen Richardson (21 carries, 165 yards, two TDs) out with an injury, the Dragons turned to Hathaway, who carried twice for first downs, helping Brunswick eat up all but a half-second of the clock, allowing Falmouth one final – if fruitless – play from 72 yards away.

“We played so well in the first half, it was a shame we were only up 6-0,” said Brunswick Coach Dan Cooper. “That led to a dogfight in the second half.

“We lost a couple of good players to injury and we were scrambling to execute. Then they got their second wind and they really started to execute and – whew – good second half.”

Indeed, after a first half dominated by punts and penalties, the second half saw three touchdowns from each team as well as the field goal from Pausman.

Allen ran in from 16 yards and Cam Folsom followed with the first of three successful PAT kicks (his first attempt was blocked) to put Brunswick on top 13-3.

A 38-yard kickoff return by Evan Lovely positioned Falmouth for a short scoring drive capped by Coleman Allen (57 yards on 10 carries) to make it 13-9.

Early in the fourth quarter, a Mancini fumble led to an 11-yard touchdown run by Mitch Lienert and Brunswick was up 20-9. Again, Lovely broke off a big kickoff return, this time for 64 yards to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Mancini. Allen’s 2-point conversion run made it 20-17 with 7:51 remaining.

Riley Reed (66 yards on 12 carries) and Sam Kidder (53 yards on six carries) also ran well for Falmouth, and Mancini completed 8 of 12 passes for 76 yards.

Hathaway finished with 99 yards on nine carries for Brunswick. Don Bromiley rumbled for 56 yards, also on nine carries. The Dragons totaled 357 yards on the ground. Quarterback Nate Girardin was 3 for 5 passing for another 37 yards.

“The offense really won the game for us in the second half,” Cooper said, “because we couldn’t stop them.”

Next week Falmouth will be home against Brewer and Brunswick will travel to Skowhegan.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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