It was the sort of dramatic reversal of fortune that could send a team into a tailspin.

With 8:38 left in the second quarter and Bonny Eagle leading 14-6 in the Class A football state championship game on Saturday, an apparent Thornton Academy touchdown off a screen pass was negated by a penalty – ineligible man downfield.

But after a lengthy discussion by the game officials, it was determined that Thornton receiver Costa Gikas had caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage. Thus, linemen could be downfield.

Thornton was awarded the touchdown, and Kobe Gaudette ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14. At halftime, referee Mick Schoff said that the ball was caught “clearly behind the line of scrimmage.”

In the Scots’ 21-14 loss at Thornton in the regular season, some players seemed to lose focus when calls went against Bonny Eagle. Not this time.

“You’ve got to talk to kids constantly about play the next play, play the next play,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper. “That’s what smart teams, mature teams do. Teams that can win championships that’s what they have to do.”

Bonny Eagle added a touchdown before the half and then took over in the fourth quarter en route to a 34-21 victory.

LISBON/ST. DOMINIC didn’t look like a potential state champion in the middle of the season. Just ask the Greyhounds’ coach.

“Everyone that overlooked us had a legitimate reason at the time,” Chris Kates said. “We were playing pretty bad in the first half of the season.”

Lisbon had everything figured out by the end of the season, however. The Greyhounds won their first championship since a Class C title in 2006, beating Bucksport 28-8 in the Class D final.

“I’m pretty happy with how they kind of put their foot down and said ‘This isn’t going to happen anymore,'” Kates said. ” ‘This is not how we want our senior year to go.’ ”

It was hardly a season-long cruise to the hardware. Lisbon started 3-3, and was out of position for a bye going into the final week of the regular season. But the Greyhounds flipped the switch, beating Oak Hill in back-to-back games to get the bye and then reach the D South final, where they upset Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale.

Lisbon completed the turnaround with a dismantling of the undefeated Golden Bucks on Saturday, and the Greyhounds were playing with a little extra motivation every step of the way.

“We had a major chip on our shoulder,” said junior Daytona McIver, who ran for 103 yards and a touchdown Saturday. “Every reporter was picking against us, and coach came in every practice and said ‘You’re not favored to win this game.’ We proved them wrong here.”

JACOB HUMPHREY didn’t play football in middle school. He didn’t play in his freshman year, either. Or his sophomore year.

But this fall, as a junior, Humphrey returned to the sport. And on Saturday, the Bonny Eagle football team was sure glad he did.

Humphrey was a vital cog in the Scots’ 34-21 victory over Thornton Academy in the Class A title game, catching three passes for 48 yards – 33 coming on one touchdown grab – and making a highlight-reel interception to help lead Bonny Eagle to its first title in three years.

“Jacob Humphrey, he’s one of a kind,” Scots coach Kevin Cooper said. “We’re glad that we have him. He’s a pleasure to coach. … His ability to be a great athlete, people probably know he’s a great basketball player, a great baseball player, and certainly it translates onto the football field.”

Humphrey played in elementary school, but said his smaller frame was a reason he opted to focus on his other sports. Going into this season, however, he reconsidered.

“All the coaches (persuaded me),” Humphrey said. “All these players, I love all of them. We’re all best friends. I just want to play sports with all (these) people.”

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