Monday, March 10, 2014
BRUNSWICK — On a night where Cony High quarterback Ben Lucas became the most prolific touchdown passer in Maine history, the Rams’ defense earned a share of the headlines Friday.
Cony’s Tayler Carrier hauls in a touchdown pass in front of Brunswick defender Taran Payne just before time expired in the first half, giving Cony a 28-24 lead.
Photos by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer
Brunswick’s Ryan Maciejewski beats out Cony’s Reid Shostak, 33, and Kevin Kingsbury, 4, for a first-half touchdown during the Eastern Class B final Friday night. Brunswick’s running game was superb, but Cony’s passing game might have been better.
Lucas threw five touchdown passes as second-ranked Cony beat top-seeded Brunswick 48-38 in the Eastern Class B football championship game to earn the Rams their first appearance in a state final.
Lucas has 86 career scoring passes, breaking the record of 84 set by Lee St. Hilaire of Winthrop, whose final season was 2001.
But Cony’s defense had a huge hand in the win. Twice in the third quarter Cony stopped Brunswick on a fourth-and-1 play. Each time the Rams scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession.
“I’ve had complete confidence in our defense all year,” said Lucas, who completed 27 of 43 passes for 366 yards. “I know that we’ve had tough times but for the most part of the year I’ve known they’ve been a great defense and that they would show it at some point.”
Cony (8-2) will play Marshwood or Kennebunk – who meet Saturday – in the Class B state championship game next Friday night at the University of Maine.
“It’s a dream come true for our kids,” said Cony Coach Robby Vachon, “but I think it’s a dream come true for our community as well.”
Brunswick (7-3) beat Cony 54-38 in the regular season.
Lucas threw three touchdown passes in the first half, of 22, 29 and 8 yards. His two in the second half were for 28 and 35 yards.
“He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the history of Maine state football,” said Vachon. “He showed it again tonight.”
The game took a turn at the end of a breathtaking first half. Brunswick, which rushed for 473 yards, had taken a 24-21 lead with 1:27 left in the second quarter on an 11-yard run by Will Bessey. But Lucas led the Rams on a 70-yard drive that was culminated by a 1-yard run by Charlie Hallak with 25.8 seconds left in the half, giving the Rams a 28-24 lead.
The Dragons got the ball to start the third quarter and faced a fourth-and-1 at their 40. Reid Shostak tackled Lucas McCue for no gain.
Five plays later, Lucas threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Tayler Carrier, who ran a stop-and-go, and it was 35-24 after Kevin Kingsbury’s PAT.
Later in the quarter, Brunswick faced a fourth-and-1 at its 41. Quarterback Brady Larson was stopped for no gain.
Two plays later, Lucas hooked up with John Bennett for a 35-yard touchdown and it was 42-24 late in the third.
“We made a couple of adjustments at the half, some personnel changes,” said Vachon of his defense. “And the kids did a nice job executing.”
Brunswick Coach Dan Cooper said he felt his team needed to take those fourth-down gambles in its territory.
“We made a couple of mistakes,” he said. “We just felt at that point we hadn’t had a lot of success stopping them, whether it was a long or short field. So we figured we’d go for it.
“They were plays we’ve made many times. We were prepared to make them. We just didn’t tonight.”
Mike Lowe can be reached at 791-6422 or at:
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Cony’s Tayler Carrier leaps over Brunswick defender Adam Casey as Ezra Rogers and Will Bessey give chase in the first half of the Eastern Class B final Friday night.