BIDDEFORD – Paul McDonough of Wells passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, and Cam Olson of Cheverus added a touchdown pass and a touchdown run Saturday as the West beat the East 48-24 in the 23rd annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl at Waterhouse Field.

The West quarterbacks and receivers were too much for the East, which took a 16-6 lead early in the second quarter before the West scored 26 unanswered points to seal it.

The West, which won for the second straight year, leads 17-6 in the series that brings together the top graduated football seniors in the state. The Lobster Bowl began in 1990.

“We had a lot of emotion at the start,” said Olson. “The East made some big plays at the beginning. We just stuck in there and told ourselves it’s 15-minute quarters.

“We have some height at wide receiver. That helps on the fade pass. The receivers made some great catches.”

The East took advantage of its quickness to take an early 10-point lead, but the West defense adjusted and its offense took control after that.

Logan Gaddar of South Portland keyed the West secondary with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

McDonough and Olson, who alternated series at quarterback, teamed with receivers Jack Cooleen, Troy Pappas, Matt Burnell and Cam Cooper throughout the game

Spencer Cooke of Cheverus, named the most valuable player for his team, led the West in rushing while scoring on a 26-yard run late in the game.

Cooke also had a 56-yard kickoff return in the second quarter that led to a score.

With the East leading 16-6, Cooke’s return gave the West the ball at the 43. Olson, showing outstanding running ability, ran for 16 yards on first down.

Another Olson run of 12 brought the ball inside the 10. Two plays later, Scott Thibeault of Scarbrough scored from the 4 to cut it to 16-14.

Gaddar recovered a fumble at the East 40, which led to the West’s go-ahead score. Cooke tossed a halfback option pass to Burnell for 11 yards. Two plays later, McDonough hit Pappas in the middle and the Marshwood standout scored on the 29-yard play.

The rush for the point-after failed but the West held a 20-16 lead.

With just over two minutes left in the half, McDonough teamed up with Burnell on a 51-yard scoring play to make it 26-16, the score at halftime.

“We knew we had some kids who could make plays,” said West assistant Dave Jones, who coached the wide receivers. “We were concerned with the East’s interior people.”

Sam Dexter of Messalonskee was named the MVP for the East. He scored his team’s first touchdown on a 29-yard pass from Jordan Hersom.

Jeff Turcotte scored the East’s second touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Late in the game, Anthony Jackson of Brewer scored the East’s final touchdown.

Cooke didn’t start at running back but once he got in the game, he made his presence felt.

“We wanted to set up the pass first in our pro-style offense,” said Cooke. “We went to the run after that.”

Olson, his Cheverus teammate, said: “I’m really glad Spencer won the MVP. He missed the latter part of last season with an injury. It was great to see him get out there and have a game like we all remember last season before he got hurt.”

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

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH


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