BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL running back Will Bessey (28) looks for running room during a football game against Cony at Augusta on Friday. Bessey rushed for 245 yards in the Dragons’ 52--27 victory.

BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL running back Will Bessey (28) looks for running room during a football game against Cony at Augusta on Friday. Bessey rushed for 245 yards in the Dragons’ 52–27 victory.

AUGUSTA

It was 11 months ago when the Cony Rams walked off the Brunswick High School football field with the Eastern Maine Class B regional title after a 48-38 win.

All the Dragons that either played that day or were on the sidelines likely remember the pain of the loss. Jacob Duffy, who was a senior last season, wrote a letter to this year’s Dragons that was read during practice this week, detailing the gut-wrenching setback.

On Friday, Brunswick put those demons to rest for now, rolling to a 52-27 victory over the Rams and giving the Dragons a 3-0 record. Meanwhile, the defensive-challenged Rams, who lost to Brewer in overtime one week earlier, 46-40, fell to 1-2. Brunswick visits 2-1 Skowhegan this upcoming Friday at 7 p.m.

Contributions came throughout the Dragons roster. Down 13-6 in the second quarter, Hunter Garrett returned a kick-off 71 yards for a touchdown, with Cam Berry giving Brunswick a 14-13 with a 2-point conversion run.

Jesse Devereaux was all over the field defensively. His tip of a Mitchell Caron pass led to an interception by Ricky Klatt. The ensuing drive was finished off by a Will Bessey 2-yard TD run for a 20-13 Dragons advantage, and Klatt caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Tom Hanson (3- for-6, 116 yards, two TDs) in the second half to put the Rams away.

“To have all those people chipping in was great,” said Brunswick coach Dan Cooper. “We had to go to Plan B. We were scratching our heads, trying to figure out who we could run after Berry got hurt, and Hunter Garrett got in there, got an opportunity and was fantastic. His kick-off return, the turnovers and those pass plays really did it for us tonight.”

“All I remember is I had a head of steam going forward and the blockers made it work,” said Garrett, of his kick-off return. “I needed to contribute more. I wanted to help today, and today I think I helped my team win. I remember seeing the emotion from those seniors last year, and we were able to get this win.”

Early fireworks

The pre-game featured a lot of chirping between the two teams near midfield.

Brunswick took the opening kick-off and used 13 run plays and nearly six minutes of the clock to drive 71 yards, with Alex Bandouveres plowing forward for a 9-yard score and a 6-0 Dragons lead.

Caron went to work for the Rams. He was 5-for-6 on his team’s first drive, with Tayler Carrier hauling in an 8-yard TD strike for a 7-6 Cony lead.

The Rams defense held to force a punt, and Caron again moved his team down the field, finding Carrier for a 25- yard TD strike and a 13-6 advantage.

After Garrett gave the Dragons the lead and Caron threw his first of two interceptions, Bessey, who rushed for 245 yards on 27 carries, broke off a 44-yard sideline-to-sideline run to the C-16. Bandouveres ran for 14 more and Bessey capped the drive on the next play with a 2-yard score and a 20-13 Brunswick lead.

Caron to Carrier hurt the Dragons again. This time, Caron lofted a pass into the left flat for a 27-yard score to his favorite target (nine catches, 110 yards, three TDs) for a 20-20 deadlock.

Bessey gave the Dragons the lead for good on Brunswick’s next drive, scoring on a 27-yard TD run along the right sideline. Bessey ran into the end zone for the 2- point conversion and a 28-20 lead, and Devereaux recovered a Cony fumble to end a promising Rams drive.

“It was a big turn of momentum, and it got us fired up,” said Devereaux of the turnovers.

Devereaux had a chance at an interception to open the second half. Caron’s pass hit the linebacker in the chest, but deflected into the waiting arms of Reid Shostak (four receptions, 110 yards, TD), who turned it into a 65-yard touchdown. Spencer Buck’s extra-point kick made for a 28- 27 game.

That was all for the Cony offense. The Rams hurt the Dragons with screen passes in the first half, with Caron completing 16-of-18 passes for 197 yards, but Brunswick adjusted in the second half.

“Coach (Greg) Nadeau made the adjustment of what we were doing defensively, and we got some turnovers out of it,” said Cooper. “We were getting contributions from all over the place. Jesse Devereaux has a lot of Dragon pride. That is why we won tonight.”

Hanson got into the act in the third quarter. He lofted a pass to Klatt, who turned the catch into an 81-yard touchdown, with Garrett converting the 2-point conversion for a 36-27 advantage. Klatt also chipped in a 7-yard TD catch from Hanson in the fourth quarter to put Cony away.

“Those plays were huge and changed the momentum of the game,” said Klatt.

Brunswick finished with 552 total yards, including 436 on the ground on 55 carries. Bandouveres gained 136 yards on 18 carries, with Garrett adding 53 big yards on nine rushes. Hanson was 3-for-6 in the air for 116 yards and two TDs. Defensively, Tristan Graves, wearing Duffy’s old No. 56, had seven tackles and an interception.

Caron finished 22-of-33 in the air for 306 yards, with four TDs and two interceptions. Joel Bennett had five catches for 49 yards, with Anthony Brunelle adding four receptions for 37 yards. Shostak led the Cony defense with 11 tackles.

Cooper feels Cony, despite a 1-2 record, will be there in the end.

“There are two or three teams who are right in the thick of it, and Cony will be one of them,” said Cooper. “The focus doesn’t change for us. We want to be at our best at the end. Cony will be there at the end, and we know winning this game will make us a better team.”

Brunswick 52,
Cony 27

At Augusta
Brunswick — 6 20 16 8 – 52
Cony— 61470–27
First quarter
B — Alex Bandouveres 9 run (run
failed), 6:26.
C — Tayler Carrier 8 pass from
Mitchell Caron (kick failed), 4:42.
Second quarter
C — Tayler Carrier 25 pass from
Mitchell Caron (Spencer Buck kick),
9:50.
B — Hunter Garrett 71 kick-off return
(Cam Berry run), 9:37.
B — Will Bessey 2 run (pass failed),
7:52.
C — Tayler Carrier 27 pass (Spencer
Buck kick), 5:34.
B — Will Bessey 27 run (Will Bessey
run), 4:00.
Third quarter
C — Reid Shostak 65 pass from
Mitchell Caron (Spencer Buck kick),
9:36.
B — Ricky Klatt 81 pass from Tom
Hanson (Hunter Garrett run), 8:07.
B — Hunter Garrett 4 run (Will
Bessey run), 3:54.
Fourth quarter
B — Ricky Klatt 7 pass from Tom
Hanson (Hunter Garrett run), 7:25.
Records — Brunswick 3-0, Cony 1-2.
Up next for the Dragons — Friday at
Skowhegan (2-1), 7 p.m.


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