Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By BILL STEWART Kennebec Journal
BRUNSWICK - Opposing defenses have struggled of late to slow the high-powered Cony offense.
Brunswick running back Jared Jensen is stopped by Cony’s Devon O’Connor during their Eastern Class A football game Friday. Cony dealt Brunswick its first loss, 34-7.
Cony quarterback Ben Lucas gets off a pass under pressure from the Brunswick defense during Friday’s Eastern Class A game in Brunswick. Despite heavy rain, Lucas threw for 171 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-7 victory.
Photos by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer
It turns out not even bad weather can stop the Rams.
Junior quarterback Ben Lucas completed 13 of 21 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns on a rainy Friday night to help Cony hammer previously unbeaten Brunswick, 34-7, in an Eastern Class A game before about 500 spectators.
"We knew it was going to be tough throwing in this weather, but we came out and executed," said Lucas, who threw touchdown passes to Tayler Carrier, Jonathan Saban and Brandon St. Michel.
"This is a huge win for us. Last year they beat us 35-7 at our Homecoming game, and to come out on their Homecoming and beat them by basically the same score, it feels good."
After falling behind early, the Rams (4-1) scored 34 unanswered points to won a fourth consecutive game for the first time since the end of the 2007 regular season.
"This win is a big statement," said Carrier, whose 50-yard touchdown reception early in the second quarter snapped a 7-7 tie. "People are going to have to take notice."
Added St. Michel, who rushed for a team-high 89 yards and scored two touchdowns: "People need to realize that we can compete."
The Rams kept the Brunswick offense out of the end zone. Jared Jensen, the state's leading rusher, returned an interception 28 yards for Brunswick's only touchdown with 5:36 left in the first quarter, giving the Dragons a 7-0 lead.
Jensen rushed for 176 yards on 24 carries but took a pounding from a swarming Cony defense. The powerful senior running back, who came in averaging 326 rushing yards and four touchdowns per game, was pulled toward the end of the fourth quarter.
"Our offense gets a lot of recognition, and rightfully so," Cony Coach Robby Vachon said. "But our defense came to play."
The Cony defense, with an assist from the weather, forced six Brunswick turnovers. The Dragons (4-1) had 11 fumbles, losing four of them.
"I felt if we could hold onto the ball, we could move it on them," Brunswick Coach Dan Cooper said. "But we struggled to do that. Once (Cony) got a head of steam, they kept the foot on the gas."
St. Michel rushed for a 6-yard touchdown late in the first quarter, and Carrier caught a 50-yard pass from Lucas with 8:09 left in the second.
Carrier was not the intended receiver.
"It was a broken play," he said. "I kind of made it up on my own. I'm glad it worked."
Cony defensive back John Bennett picked off a Jason Carter pass and raced 67 yards for a touchdown with 4:23 left in the second quarter. Zach Lachance kicked the extra point, and Cony was up 21-7.
It stayed that way until Lucas hit Saban for a 33-yard touchdown pass with 4:30 left in the third.
"I felt great throwing in this weather," said Lucas, who's thrown 16 touchdown passes this season.
Lucas capped the scoring when he found St. Michel on a well-executed screen pass that went for 65 yards with 5:50 remaining.
"We didn't run (that play) too many times," St. Michel said. "But it worked. Once I got to the outside I just kept going."
click image to enlarge
Tayler Carrier of Cony, right, caught the go-ahead touchdown pass early in the second quarter, sparking the Rams to their fourth straight win.