BRUNSWICK — It was no surprise that the Brunswick Dragons scored early and often in Friday night’s Class B North regional semifinal, as it was something they did often during the regular season.

But what some may have not expected was that Skowhegan went toe-to-toe early on with the defending B North champs.

But the home team scored enough and the defense held off Skowhegan in the second half to secure the victory with a 44-29 win.

Brunswick’s Noah Goddard looks ahead as he runs for a 25-yard score to open the game in Friday’s Class B North high school football game against Skowhegan. Eric Maxim / The Times Record

No. 1 Brunswick (10-0) will host No. 3 Lawrence — 43-22 winners over Mt. Blue, on Friday — time to be announced. The Dragons beat Lawrence, 50-21, on Sept. 27 in Fairfield.

With a game full of offense, it was a pair of key stops, spearheaded by senior defensive back Noah Goddard that sealed the game for Brunswick. After Brunswick scored with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to go ahead 44-29, Skowhegan quarterback Camden Green connected with Cameron Lauder for a 25-yard strike deep into Brunswick territory. After another 12-yard completion from Green, Brunswick’s Treyvon McKenzie sacked the Skowhegan quarterback for a loss. A short gain followed before Goddard broke up the next two pass plays as Skowhegan turned the ball over on downs.

A Brunswick fumble on the very next play gave the ball back to Skowhegan inside the Brunswick 20-yard line. Two plays later, Goddard picked off Green with less than three minutes remaining to seal the victory.

“He’s our leader on defense,” Brunswick coach Dan Cooper said. “He’s been doing this for us for three years now, he’s stepped up for us all year.”

“I stood inside of my receiver and watched the quarterback’s eyes,” Goddard said about the interception. “I was hoping to slide in and make a play, I love playing on defense.”

While defense ended the game, it was the offense that paced the contest in the early going.

After Skowhegan deferred the opening kickoff, Brunswick took just 2:12 to put together a 60-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard run on a quarterback keeper by Goddard.

Despite falling to the Dragons 48-7 in the season opener, Skowhegan was ready to score some points of its own. It took just three plays and 58 seconds for the visitors to even the score as Green connected with Mason Fitzgerald for a 75-yard touchdown pass.

“We’ve been passing all year as we like to pass the ball,” Green said. “We’ve improved a lot since the first game and we wanted to come out here and show them that.”

It took only one play from scrimmage, a 59-yard run from Owen Richardson, for Brunswick to retake the lead, but three plays later, Green fired another bomb, this time a 61-yard completion to Quintcey McCray and the score was all knotted up at 14 just five minutes into the game.

Another Richardson score, this time from 38 yards out, put Brunswick back into the lead with 3:52 left in the opening frame.

Brunswick stopped the visitors on the next drive, but a low punt bounced off the back of a Brunswick player’s leg and was recovered by Skowhegan in Brunswick territory. Once again, the Dragon defense halted the drive and Skowhegan was forced to punt.

Brunswick found the end zone two more times before the end of the half. Another Richardson score and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Goddard to Chandler Coombs gave the Dragons a 36-14 halftime lead. The Dragons amassed 316 rushing yards in the first half, led by Richardson’s 165 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries. Senior Mitch Lienert added 80 yards on the ground on nine lugs.

Green was 8-for-20 for 156 yards and a pair of scores for Skowhegan.

Second-half action

Skowhegan scored on its opening drive of the half, putting together a 14-play, 70-yard drive, aided by multiple Brunswick penalties that took over seven minutes off the clock. A Brunswick fumble gave the ball back to Skowhegan, and three plays later, Green found Zeb Tibbetts for the score to cut the lead to 36-29 late in the third quarter.

Brunswick took nine minutes off the clock on its following drive, using the legs of Richardson, Cody Larson, Lienert and Goddard to drive down the clock. Despite four Brunswick penalties, including a holding call on a 50-yard run into the end zone by Richardson, the Dragons mustered forward and scored the final touchdown of the game when Lienert scampered in from 8-yards out for the score.

“It’s great when you have so many guys that can rush the ball,” Goddard said about Larson, Lienert and Richardson. “It definitely takes pressure off me, it’s awesome to have.”

Brunswick’s Owen Richardson looks for a hole to run up field during the first half of Friday’s Class B North high school football game against Skowhegan. Eric Maxim / The Times Record

Richardson led all runners with 208 yards and three touchdowns, followed by Lienert’s 95 as the Dragons finished with 407 yards on the ground. Goddard was 3-of-5 in the air for 25 yards and a score.

While the Dragons’ defense held Skowhegan runners to just seven rushing yards, Green was 21-for-37 in the air, connecting for 301 yards and three touchdowns. His pick to Goddard was his only turnover. McCray finished with 97 yards receiving, while Fitzgerald had 74 and Louder grabbed in 69.

“Skowhegan was much better this time around,” Goddard said. “We may have not taken them so serious early on, but we turned it around and we kept our season going.

 

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