Undefeated Class D South high school football teams Spruce Mountain and Lisbon met on Saturday, both looking to go 3-0 and gain an edge in obtaining a home advantage come playoff time.

In the often cruel world that is sports, neither the Phoenix or Greyhounds deserved to pick up their first loss of 2018, with the squads leaving all they had on Thompson Field.

Home-standing Lisbon found a way with a thrilling 30-28 overtime win on a hot, sun-filled day.

“Spruce is a tough team, and they have athletes all over the field,” said Lisbon coach Chris Kates. “Just proud of our kids on the way they responded today.”

“Physically they had that last gasp of energy,” added Spruce Mountain (2-1) coach David Frey, whose Phoenix host rival Mountain Valley on Friday.

In a back-and-forth game, both teams found the end zone in overtime. Spruce Mountain quarterback Jack Bryant threw off his back foot to wide receiver Brandon Frey (five catches, 81 yards, two TDs) for a 14-yard score on third down. The point-after kick was wide, leaving the Phoenix in the lead, 28-22.


Lisbon’s turn from the SM-10 began slow, with the Greyhounds gaining one yard on two plays. From the 9-yard line, Lucas Francis fired a strike to Robbie Dick for the tying touchdown. Francis ran in the 2-point try to end the contest.

Dick earned immediate redemption, having lost track of Frey on his touchdown in overtime before finding the end zone himself.

“I wanted to give Robbie a chance to redeem himself for the touchdown they had scored. He came up with a big play and turned the tide back to us,” Kates said.

Spruce strikes

The visitors drew first blood drew in the opening quarter as Bryant led Trey Davis perfectly for a 67-yard touchdown strike. Zach Toothaker made the point-after kick for a 7-0 Phoenix lead.

The Spruce Mountain defense held the Greyhounds to just 36 yards of offense in the opening quarter.

But Lisbon put together a solid drive in the second. Isaiah Thompson had two solid runs for first downs and watched Francis rumbled into the end zone from the SM-3. The 2-point try failed, leaving the hosts down, 7-6.


The Phoenix put together their best drive of the day. Taking over with 7:36 left until halftime, Spruce Mountain held the ball for seven-and-a-half minutes, with Bryant throwing to Frey for a 12-yard TD pass and a 14-6 halftime lead.

Spruce outgained Lisbon, 205-96 in the opening half and possessed the ball for over 16 minutes.

“I am proud of them because I needed to know where we are as a team,” said Frey. “People say Wells is way up there, and everyone else is down here. After today, I feel that we can compete with anybody.”

Lisbon tied the game with 4:24 left in the third as Thompson scored on a 2-yard TD run, with Francis converting for two points.

Early in the fourth, the Greyhounds gained their first lead of the day, with Thompson again putting the finishing touches on a Lisbon drive with a 17-yard run to paydirt for a 22-14 edge.

Spruce Mountain wasn’t through. After a chop block penalty pushed the ball back to the SM-11, Bryant found Davis again, this time for a 43-yard gain into the Lisbon territory. Two plays later, the Phoenix picked up 41 more yards on a Bryant to Frey passing play to the L-6. Bryant capped the drive with a 2-yard TD run, and threw to Tate Walton for the 2-point conversion and a 22-22 tie with 7:07 remaining.


Lisbon had two chances to end the game in regulation, but an interception of a Francis pass by Damieon O’Brien ended one Greyhound drive, and a tipped pass on fourth down by Noah Gilbert sent the game into overtime.

On that final drive of regulation, Francis was helped off the field. After Spruce Mountain scored in overtime, there was little doubt the senior was going to be there for his team.

“He has heart. We are out here in this heat, in black, every day, and we have an advantage over these teams,” said Dick.

“It was an easy decision. If you sit out in an overtime game, that might be the last you play in,” said Kates, whose Greyhounds visit Madison/Carrabec on Friday.

Francis did the job, with his touchdown pass tying the game and his run putting an end to the Phoenix.

Thompson led the Lisbon ground game with 147 yards on 17 carries, with Francis carrying 21 times for 81 tough yards. Francis was 3-of-9 in the air for 29 yards.

Bryant paced Spruce Mountain with 308 all-purpose yards, rushing for 117 on 18 lugs and completing eight of his 20 passes for another 191 and three touchdowns. Davis made just two catches, but totaled 110 yards.

Francis led the Lisbon defense with eight tackles, while Evan Houde, Daytona McIver, Cam Bourget and Hunter Job made six tackles each.

For the Phoenix, Walton made eight stops and Evan Dow six.

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