Sunday, May 19, 2013
By MATT DiFILIPPO Morning Sentinel
OAKLAND - Brunswick running back Jared Jensen had been averaging nearly 300 yards per game. Messalonskee held him to 80 yards on 21 carries Friday night and limited Brunswick to 159 total yards -- just 39 in the second half.
But Brunswick's defense played just as well, especially on 2-point conversions.
Each team scored two touchdowns, but the Dragons got an extra point from the foot of Adam Casey. That was enough to hand Messalonskee its first loss and give Brunswick a 13-12 victory at Veterans Field.
Brunswick (5-1) was coming off a 34-7 loss to Cony. Messalonskee, which played without running back Corey McKenzie because of a concussion is also 5-1.
"We have not played good defense yet this year, and we hurt ourselves when we lost to Cony," Brunswick Coach Dan Cooper said. "The defense played very well (tonight)."
"Brunswick came in, played tough," Messalonskee interim coach Chapin LaBelle said. "They were tough up front. We knew they were going to be. It was the first team we've seen this year that wanted to punch us in the mouth, and they came in here and did that.
"We fought back hard. We made a few too many mistakes, but hey, it's better it happens now than three weeks from now (in the playoffs)."
Jensen ripped off a 19-yard run on his first carry but was otherwise held in check. The Eagles put together a drive late in the first quarter and went up 6-0 when Josh Woodard hit a wide-open Ryan Fecteau in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Brunswick tied it in the second quarter with a play-action pass, as Jason Carter found Nolan Robbins all alone for a 44-yard touchdown. It was Brunswick's only pass completion.
The Eagles had the first of many frustrating drives when Fecteau caught a 20-yard pass to the Brunswick 17 as time ran out in the first half. That was forgotten when Devin Warren took the second-half kickoff, burst through a lane, broke a tackle and sped 97 yards for a touchdown and a 12-6 lead.
A few minutes later, Brunswick's Jason Carter angled a 33-yard punt that was downed at the 2. On the next play, Brunswick's Alex Bandouveres recovered a fumble in the end zone, and Casey's kick made it 13-12.
"The kid was going toward the line," Bandouveres said. "He got pushed back. I just stripped it from him. I was a little confused at first, but I was in the end zone, so I was pretty happy."
Messalonskee's Dean Northup recovered a fumble by Jensen at the Brunswick 32 in the fourth quarter, and the Eagles drove to the 10. On fourth-and-6, Messalonskee committed a false start penalty. Warren then tried a 32-yard field goal that was wide left.
"We could play these guys 10 times and it's going to probably come down to a one-score game every time," Cooper said. "Fortunately, it worked out for us tonight."