Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By DALE DUFF Special to the Press Herald
BANGOR - Play after play, the Brunswick Dragons kept handing the ball to senior running back Jared Jensen.
Why not? There's was no need to do anything different, because Bangor couldn't do anything to stop Jensen.
Jensen rushed 37 times for 428 yards and five touchdowns, leading Brunswick to a huge opening-night road win over Bangor, 36-28.
The Dragons trailed 15-0 just 10 minutes into the game, but then Jensen went to work. He simply overpowered the Bangor defense, scoring four touchdowns in the first half.
"I'll sleep well tonight" said the two-time state wrestling champion.
And sleep well he should.
Jensen's 55-yard TD run with 29 seconds left in the first quarter got Brunswick going on offense.
After Bangor was forced to punt on its next possession, Jensen cut up the middle and through the defense to score from 48 yards out and cut Brunswick's deficit to 15-13.
"After their first two scores we were thinking this might be a long night" said Brunswick Coach Dan Cooper. " But we just made a couple of plays and got back in it. I think we really wore them down."
The Dragons grabbed the lead for the first time in the closing minutes of the half.
Bangor failed to convert on fourth down deep in Brunswick territory, and on the next play Jensen took the handoff, cut to the outside and raced down the sideline for an 84-yard score that put the Dragons ahead 21-15.
Less than a minute later, Ryan Maciejewski picked off a pass from Bangor quarterback Carl Farnham and return it to the Rams 6. Two plays later, Jensen scored again to make 29-15 at the half.
The teams each scored a touchdown in the third quarter. Cody Chapman scored the Bangor touchdown. On any other night, his 226-yard rushing performance might have earned top billing.
But not this time. This night belonged to Jensen.
"His balance and his ability to find holes and hit the holes was amazing," said Cooper.
"I counted on my vision really," said Jensen. "We ran middle, power and stretch mostly.
"The line was great."
A 22-yard pass from Farnham to Nick Ashey pulled the Rams to within eight points with 3:49 to play.
But Brunswick ran out the clock by doing what it did all night -- hand the ball to Jensen. He carried seven straight times to secure the victory.
"They beat us up," said Bangor Coach Mark Hackett. "We were up on them early and maybe we relaxed. But they're a tough football team. They've got a good program."
It doesn't get any easier for Rams, who will be on the road next week against defending Eastern Class A champion Lawrence. Brunswick plays at home against Skowhegan.