Dragons roar on; Streak at 20 after key win at Yarmouth

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Brunswick senior Jameson Cyr, left, and freshman Aiden Glover celebrate with sophomore Max Gramins after Gramins gives the Dragons a 6-3 lead during Saturday’s showdown at Yarmouth. The defending Class A champions from Brunswick won their 20th straight game, 11-7.

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Brunswick 11 Yarmouth 7

B- 2 4 1 4- 11
Y- 1 2 2 2- 7

First quarter
10:04 Y M. Beatty (unassisted)
2:41 B A. Glover (unassisted)
42.4 B Dorr (unassisted) 

Second quarter
10:02 B A. Glover (unassisted)
5:55 Y M. Beatty (Grant)
5:39 B Eno (C. Glover)
4:27 Y Grant (Jacobs)
3:08 B C. Glover (unassisted)
39.0 B Gramins (Dorr) 

Third quarter
7:46 Y M. Beatty (Jacobs)
5:13 B A. Glover (Palizay)
2:17 Y H. Venden (unassisted) 

Fourth quarter
10:20 Y May (M. Beatty) (MAN-UP)
8:17 B Dorr (unassisted)
6:58 B Eno (unassisted)
6:04 Y LeBlanc (unassisted)
3:51 B A. Glover (Eno)
1:55 B A. Glover (C. Glover) (MAN-UP) 

Goals:
B- A. Glover 5, Dorr, Eno 2, C. Glover, Gramins 1
Y- M. Beatty 3, Grant, LeBlanc, May, H. Venden 1

Assists:
B- C. Glover 2, Dorr, Eno, Palizay 1
Y- Jacobs 2, M. Beatty, Grant 1

Faceoffs (Yarmouth, 17-4)
B- Palizay 1 of 14, Jensen 3 of 7
Y- Tillotson 17 of 21

Ground balls (Yarmouth, 41-25)
B- C. Glover 7, Granholm 4, Cilea, Clark, A. Glover, Palizay 2, Cyr, Dorr, Eno, Gramins, Hillis, Jensen 1
Y- Tillotson 15, Conrad 5, Mallett 4, Libby 3, M. Beatty A.Chappell, Jacobs, May, H. Venden 2, A. Beatty, Grant, Ramsey, J. Venden 1

Turnovers:
B- 11
Y- 26

Shots:
B- 35
Y- 27

Shots on cage:
B- 26
Y- 16

Saves:
B (Ouellette) 9
Y (Libby) 15

YARMOUTH—While Brunswick’s boys’ lacrosse team might not be as good as last year’s undefeated state championship squad, the 2016 Dragons are pretty darn good and they’re only going to get stronger.

Which isn’t exactly good news for the rest of the state.

Yarmouth discovered that Brunswick was better than its modest preseason hype Saturday when it hosted the Dragons in a compelling crossover contest under the lights.

The Clippers, coming off a tough home loss to three-time defending Class B state champion Cape Elizabeth, controlled possession and play almost the entire first period against the reigning Class A champs, but only managed one goal.

Brunswick then went ahead to stay late in the quarter, as freshman Aiden Glover hinted at a big game to come with a goal and junior Josh Dorr also finished.

The Dragons closed the second period strong as well, extending a one-goal lead to 6-3 at halftime, thanks to goals from junior Christian Glover and junior Max Gramins.

Yarmouth did its best to rally in the second half, pulling within 7-6 when sophomore Cooper May scored man-up with 10:20 to play, but Brunswick turned to its pride, desire and championship pedigree and held on, getting late goals from Dorr, sophomore Andrew Eno and two more from Aiden Glover as it went on to an 11-7 victory.

Aiden Glover had five goals, five different players in all tickled the twine and the Dragons won in Yarmouth for the second straight year, improved to 4-0, extended their two-season win streak to 20 games and dropped the Clippers to 1-2 in the process.

“Yarmouth’s an exceptional program, so we knew this would be a test,” said longtime Brunswick coach Don Glover. “We’re pleased to get this outcome.”

Still the best

Brunswick, which last lost in the 2014 Class A state game to South Portland, capped a 16-0 campaign last spring by beating the Red Riots, 13-9, in the state final. The Dragons were then decimated by graduation, but haven’t missed a beat in 2016, opening by beating visiting Edward Little (8-2), host Mt. Ararat (17-7) and visiting Lewiston in a close one Thursday (8-6).

Yarmouth, which has lost to Cape Elizabeth in the past three Class B state finals, is highly touted this spring. The Clippers handled visiting York in their opener, 14-3, then lost at home to the Capers Wednesday, 15-5, in a game which got out of hand late.

Considering they’re two of the state’s flagship programs, Brunswick and Yarmouth haven’t played a lot over the years, but they have met more in recent seasons (see sidebar, below).

Last spring, the Dragons snapped a five-game skid against the Clippers (which dated to 2004) with a 14-8 win at Yarmouth en route to the championship.

Saturday, after a slow start, Brunswick did it again.

In a harbinger of frustrating things to come, Clippers junior Bill Jacobs rocketed a shot off the crossbar in the second minute.

Yarmouth did get on the board with 10:04 left in the first period, when senior Matthew Beatty scored unassisted, but despite having the ball for most of the next seven minutes, the hosts couldn’t add to their lead.

In that span, the Clippers couldn’t take advantage of a man-up situation and Beatty hit the post.

With 2:41 remaining in the first, the Dragons got on the board, as Aiden Glover made a nice move, then shot past Yarmouth junior goalie Cameron Libby to tie it.

With 42.4 seconds showing, Dorr scored unassisted and Brunswick somehow had a lead after 12 minutes.

One minute, 58 seconds into the second quarter, Aiden Glover scored again to make it 3-1.

With 5:55 to go in the half, the Clippers finally returned to their scoring ways, as Beatty finished a feed from senior Patrick Grant, snapping a 16 minute, 9 second drought in the process.

Undaunted, the Dragons roared right back 16 seconds later, as after a turnover, Christian Glover set up Eno to make it 4-2.

With 4:27 remaining before halftime, Jacobs set up Grant to again pull Yarmouth within one, but again, Brunswick responded, as Christian Glover scored unassisted with 3:08 showing and after a slashing penalty on Clippers junior Patrick Mallett, Dorr set up Gramins for a goal with 39 seconds to go and the Dragons held a 6-3 advantage at halftime.

Yarmouth senior Ricky Tillotson won 10 of 11 first half faceoffs, but the Clippers turned the ball over 16 times (to just six for Brunswick) and that helped the Dragons hold the lead.

Yarmouth’s frustrations continued early in the third period, as Jacobs hit the crossbar again, Jacobs was robbed by Dragons senior goalie Logan Ouellette and Ouellette denied a great look from Beatty as well.

With 7:46 to play in the third quarter, the Clippers got a man-up goal, as Jacobs set up Beatty, but after Aiden Glover hit the post, he finished a feed from junior Ben Palizay with 5:13 showing to restore a three-goal margin, 7-4.

Yarmouth crept closer with 2:17 to go, when sophomore Henry Venden scored unassisted, and the deficit was only two with a quarter still to play.

With 10:20 left, the Clippers made things very interesting, as May finished Beatty’s pass for a man-up goal and Brunswick clung to a 7-6 lead.

The Dragons didn’t panic, however, and after Dorr hit the post, Dorr got the ball back, curled around the crease and beat Libby for a little breathing room.

Brunswick’s comfort level grew even more with 6:58 to play, when Eno scored unassisted to make it 9-6.

Junior Remi LeBlanc got a goal back (unassisted) with 6:04 to play, but the hosts wouldn’t score again.

With 3:51 remaining, Eno set up Aiden Glover to make it 10-7 and with 1:55 to play, Glover delivered the dagger, scoring a man-up goal in transition from Christian Glover, and the Dragons went on to the 11-7 victory.

“We may not have the skill of past years, but we have the work ethic and great athletes,” Christian Glover said.

“(The coaches) told the kids the second half would be a test of their maturity,” Don Glover said. “They got nervous a little bit. We deviated from our plan and got some penalties, but some kids stepped up and put the ball in the back of the net at critical times.

“We’re being pretty simple this year. I have a good group of athletes. Their IQ and skills are increasing quickly. We knew we had to do a lot of teaching and coaching this year. We’ve built upon our defense. That’s our backbone. A great group of athletes.”

Aiden Glover had himself a day, scoring five times.

“Aiden needed that,” Christian Glover said. “For him to step up, especially in a game like this, is big.”

Dorr and Eno had two goals apiece and Christian Glover and Gramins both tickled the twine once.

Christian Glover had two assists, while Dorr, Eno and Palizay all had one.

Christian Glover had a team-high seven ground balls.

Ouellette made nine saves.

“It helps to have Logan in net,” Christian Glover said. “He’s found his voice and he’s controlling everything.” 

Brunswick only committed 11 turnovers in a hostile environment and outshot Yarmouth, 35-27 (26-16 on cage).

Not quite enough

Yarmouth got three goals from Beatty and one apiece from Grant, LeBlanc, May and Venden. Jacobs assisted on two goals, while Beatty and Grant had one assist apiece.

Tillotson won 17 of 21 faceoffs and had a game-high 15 ground balls.

Libby made 15 saves.

“Cam had some good saves,” said Clippers coach David Pearl. “He was under a lot of pressure. The offense they were running was something we hadn’t seen before, so it took getting used to.”

The Clippers were ultimately done in by 26 turnovers and their inability to cash in on some great scoring chances.

“I think all night we should have had more goals,” Pearl said. “We had a lot of opportunities. It’s a game of inches. Missed opportunities means the momentum can go a different way. I felt like our guys played hard the whole time. Some things didn’t go our way. Penalties in the fourth quarter made it really hard to dig out of the hole. Credit to Brunswick. They’re a talented team.”

No breathers

Yarmouth is back in action Tuesday at Greely. Thursday, the Clippers are back home to battle powerhouse Falmouth.

“This is a work in progress,” Pearl said. “We’re nicked up. Guys are playing injured. We’ll have to find something deep inside ourselves to keep going and I know we will. We play the hardest teams and that’s the way we want it. We feel we can beat any team every time we step on the field.  We  just need to put together a whole four quarters and finish.”

Brunswick is at Morse Tuesday and returns home Friday to battle Messalonskee.

The Dragons aren’t at a championship level yet, but it sure looks like this team is the Class A favorite once again.

“We have the drive and we’re working hard,” Christian Glover said. “We just have to keep our heads straight.”

“We want to be in the KVAC Championship game, because it’s a great honor, and we’d like to be in the final game of the season,” Don Glover said. “That would be great.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Yarmouth senior Matthew Beatty fires past Brunswick senior goalie Logan Ouellette for an early goal. 

Yarmouth senior Patrick Grant is defended by Brunswick junior Christian Glover.

Brunswick freshman Aiden Glover, who scored five times, fires a shot.

Brunswick junior Josh Dorr goes one-on-one with Yarmouth junior goalie Cameron Libby.

Yarmouth sophomore Silas Chappell tries to get around Brunswick freshman Aiden Glover.

Brunswick junior Aaron Carlton keeps a wary eye on Yarmouth junior Bill Jacobs.

Recent Yarmouth-Brunswick results

2015
Brunswick 14 @ Yarmouth 8 

2014
Yarmouth 7 @ Brunswick 6 

2011
Yarmouth 10 @ Brunswick 0

2010
@ Yarmouth 13 Brunswick 6

2005
East Region semifinals
@ Yarmouth 17 Brunswick 3

2004
East Region Final
@ Yarmouth 13 Brunswick 3

2002
Yarmouth 11 @ Brunswick 7
East Region Final
@ Brunswick 11 Yarmouth 5

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.