BRUNSWICK — Brunswick’s Owen Richardson remembers his first high school football game last season as a junior.

In a physical battle with Falmouth, Richardson was hit hard and suffered a broken collarbone, ending his season before it had really began. 

On Saturday on Bowdoin College’s Whittier Field turf, Richardson, now a senior, had a memorable game for a different reason, rushing for 164 yards and two touchdowns in Brunswick’s 48-7 Pine Tree Conference victory over Skowhegan. 

Richardson’s first two touches in the first quarter resembled a tornado running free on the open plains. He hit the holes hard, gaining 17 and 14 yards for two Dragon first downs, a drive that ended with a Mitch Leinert 2-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 Brunswick lead 6:28 into the season. 

“I was nervous at first, those first-game jitters, but I was happy to get back out there with the boys. It seemed natural,” said Richardson, who generated 41 of Brunswick’s 82 yards on that opening drive. 

However, the opening march seemed to stall for the Dragons. Facing a fourth down and 13 from the Skowhegan 27-yard line, quarterback Noah Goddard found receiver Chandler Coombs for a 16-yard pass play and a first down at the 11. Two plays later, Leinert plowed into the end zone. 

“We don’t get that, they get a little life, you never know what happens,” said Brunswick coach Dan Cooper, who felt his team’s ability to mix things up on offense helped move the ball, as the Dragons generated 448 yards of offense in the game. “We try to make sure we threaten all parts of the field, the quarterback and the running backs. We have some skill, and I feel we will get better.”

“Our backfield is supported by six or seven guys, and the boys up front did their jobs and made it easier for us,” said Richardson.

For Skowhegan, the first play produced a 14-yard Cam Green to Cameron Louder pass for a first down. But a theme of the first half saw the visitors take ill-timed penalties, along with a handful of bad snaps that led to big losses.   

“We had a lot of drive killers, too many penalties and bad snaps,” said Skowhegan (0-1) coach Ryan Libby after his team committed eight penalties for 60 yards. “Defensively, we couldn’t get off the field. We had them early with a couple of long third downs, and a long fourth down, and they came up with the plays that they needed.”

Skowhegan tried to answer Brunswick’s opening drive, moving to the Dragon 38-yard line thanks to a 31-yard shuffle pass to Mason Fitzgerald. A holding play eliminated another big play, and Skowhegan was forced to punt. 

Back again came Brunswick, driving 77 yards on just six plays, with Richardson scoring on a 2-yard run. Cam Folsom kicked his second of six extra points for a 14-0 edge after a quarter. 

The rout is on

Goddard came through again for the hosts in the second quarter, finding Treyvon McKenzie for a 29-yard TD pass and a 21-0 lead. 

On Skowhegan’s ensuing drive, Coombs grabbed a deflected Green pass and sprinted 40 yards to paydirt and a 28-0 advantage. 

“That was huge. They didn’t get any deep passes, and we were able to stop them and get the ball over to our offense,” said Coombs, who also had seven tackles. “Our secondary this year is solid. We have a lot of potential.”

“We need to eliminate mistakes and take care of things that we can fix,” said Libby, whose team hosts Cony on Friday at 7 p.m.

Brunswick (1-0) scored on the opening drive of the second half as Leinert (seven carries, 93 yards, two 2 TDs) scored again. 

Skowhegan found the end zone later in the third when Green dove into the end zone on a 2-yard run, but there was no stopping Brunswick and Richardson, who followed a Cam Hathaway block and pulled away from the Skowhegan defense for an 81-yard touchdown, ending the night for the Brunswick starters. 

“Cam Hathaway had a beautiful open field block, and that made that run a lot easier,” Richardson said. 

“We go as he goes,” Cooper said of Richardson. “He is a heck of a player and will get better and better as the season goes on. “We have a lot of potential. I am excited to see how it ends up.”

Cody Larson had a solid game on both sides of the ball for the Dragons, picking up 70 rushing yards and adding an interception of a Green pass late in the first half. Hathaway chipped in 38 yards on the ground as the Dragons ran for 407 yards. Jacob Musica finished the scoring with a 4-yard TD run with 6:44 left. 

Green was 19-of-31 in the air for 188 yards for Skowhegan, with Fitzgerald (nine catches, 85 yards) and Louder (6-59) his two favorite targets. Spencer Wyman led the Skowhegan defense with an interception and six tackles. 

Brunswick heads to Edward Little this upcoming Friday at 7 p.m. 

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