PORTLAND – In the days before the Class A state football final, Bangor Coach Mark Hackett was prophetic when talking about Cheverus.

“Speed kills,” said Hackett.

On Saturday, Hackett got to see just how much. Cheverus not only ran past Bangor, but did it with a display of the power that Bangor was supposed to enjoy.

Spencer Cooke scored four touchdowns in the second half and finished with 239 yards as Cheverus routed the Rams 46-8 to win the state championship at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Cheverus (12-0), which led just 9-8 at halftime, broke it open with 37 straight points. And as the score mounted, it was Bangor (10-2) that appeared to get slower.

“We didn’t get worn down while I thought Bangor’s size worked against them,” said Cheverus Coach John Wolfgram. “They got worn down. I thought we executed very well. We were on (a turf field), which is a faster game.”

Cheverus won its second state championship since the playoff system came into existence and first since 1985. That game was also a mismatch; the Stags beat Lewiston, 65-13.

The margin of victory was a surprise because Bangor came in with a reputation as a powerful team. Plus the Rams had played in last year’s final and vowed to return shortly after Windham had beaten them, 35-21.

But in his postgame remarks, Hackett summed it up:

“Cheverus plays in a better league than we do,” he said. “It’s a lot faster. Cheverus was a lot faster. They are a lot better team than we are.”

Wolfgram said the same thing but with slight differences.

“I think our league hardens us up,” he said. “We had some close games in our league.”

The Stags also had their share of routs, which happens in a large league. But in the playoffs, they were tested with three tight, hard-hitting games in the Western Maine regionals.

If that didn’t get them ready for Bangor, nothing would.

“We have to play really well to get by the teams in our league,” said Cooke, whose speed was on display this season, but whose power opened eyes in this game.

“My line did a great job,” said Cooke. “This is an unbelievable feeling. It’s something we’ve dreamed about since the start of the season.”

Cheverus opened the scoring on a field goal by Louis DiStasio. The last time the Stags did that, the game also turned out well. In the regular-season finale against Deering, DiStasio booted a field goal to make it 3-0 en route to a 44-14 victory.

Of course, the rematch was a classic with Cheverus holding off Deering 35-34 in the Western Maine final.

After the field goal, Bangor responded with its only highlight. Nick Sherwood got behind the Stags’ defense to take a 36-yard scoring pass from Joe Seccareccia with 10:31 left in the half.

Cheverus then drove 71 yards to regain the lead at 9-8. Tight end Jack Bushey got behind the secondary to haul in a 22-yard scoring pass from Peter Gwilym.

Cheverus then stopped Bangor on third down from the 1 when Josiah Hartley was dropped for a 3-yard loss by Zach Dulac and Liam Hobbins. On fourth down, Seccareccia was pressured by Hobbins on a rollout and threw incomplete in the end zone.

The points came fast in the second half for Cheverus, which scored on its three possessions in the third quarter, all by Cooke on runs of 2, 42 and 87 yards. Cooke broke a tackle at the line on his 42-yard run.

Trailing 17-8, Bangor drove to the Cheverus 22. The drive stalled and Bangor attempted a 32-yard field goal that didn’t get airborne. After that it was all Cheverus.

Fullback Evan Jendrasko ran well in the first half and Cooke took over in the second.

“Bangor was pinching the tackles more in the second half, which limited (Jendrasko) but opened things up for (Cooke),” said Wolfgram.

Asked how this title felt — the ninth of his career and first at Cheverus — Wolfgram said: “They are all spectacular.”

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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