BREWER, Maine — If there’s one thing the Skowhegan and Brewer football teams have in common, it’s their smashmouth style of play.
The Indians’ run game worked slightly better than the Witches, as they compiled 318 yards on the ground and raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead en route to a 30-0 Pine Tree Conference Class A victory at Doyle Field Friday evening in the season opener for both teams.
Skowhegan didn’t waste any time getting on the board, taking the opening kickoff and marching 65 yards in nine plays, buoyed by the running of Dustin Corson and Billy Williams, who capped the march with a 15-yard touchdown scamper over right end.
“I thought we got a good push up front, the holes were wide open,” said Clark, a senior captain who finished with 72 yards on 14 carries.
The Indians’ interior line controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the first half, and Corson benefited from superior blocking on first-half touchdown runs of 39 and 32 yards.
“We worked really hard on the offensive line [in practice], got a lot of our plays down,” said senior captain Peter Boardman.
Corson was the contest’s leading rusher with 138 yards on just seven carries.
Skowhegan’s defense was just as opportunistic, thwarting several Brewer scoring opportunities and forcing four turnovers.
“I really think Brewer’s greatly improved, I thought they played very hard,” said Indians coach Mike Marston.
In fact, the Witches forced the game’s first turnover, recovering a dropped Skowhegan punt at the Indians’ 16, but the visitors forced and recovered a fumble two plays later.
“We made mistakes, we’re a program trying to improve and if you’re making mistakes its going to cost you against a good team,” explained Brewer coach Don Farnham.
Indians’ fullback Don Vigue capped the scoring midway through the third quarter with a five-yard touchdown plunge.
The Witches did a solid job along the interior in the second half, holding the Indians’ running attack in check for the most part.
“The first half we were playing on our heels. They came at us right at the beginning and our kids weren’t prepared for that yet,” said Farnham. “In the second half we regrouped, the kids played hard the second half.”
While the Indians found it somewhat difficult to pound through the Witches’ defensive front, they used their speed to their advantage to stretch the defense, in particular Corson on his long TD bursts.
“They were definitely pressing the line of scrimmage. When we did break through we had some good gains,” said Marston.
The Witches penetrated into Skowhegan territory twice in the second half, only to have those drives halted by a fumble and a turnover on downs.
“It was a hard fought battle, I thought our kids played hard and well and I thought Brewer’s kids played hard and well,” Marston said.
Boardman added, “We had a little luck on the defensive end in the second half but we did a great job, they didn’t score so we felt like we did our job.”
Billy Bissell led Brewer with 65 yards on 18 carries.