BIDDEFORD — Not much went right for the West squad in the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl the past two years. This year’s version of the West made up for that in a big way Saturday. The side that historically has dominated the senior football all-star game did so once again with a 45-21 victory over the East in the 26th Lobster Bowl at Waterhouse Field.

It took just three plays for the West to get on the board, as Falmouth’s Noah Nelson hit Spruce Mountain’s Matt Vigue on a 70-yard pass-and-catch.

Nelson was named the West’s most valuable player after going 12-for-23 for 257 yards and four touchdown passes. He also ran four times for 47 yards.

“I didn’t (know he was that good) ”˜til I saw him on the practice field, but he looked pretty good all week,” said West head coach Mike Hathaway of Leavitt. “He’s a good quarterback.”

“Partially because of the offense, I feel like it benefits our quarterback system. I just feel like I did my job in there,” said Nelson.

Nelson struck again on the final play of the first quarter, as he found Leavitt’s Gabe Seeley in the front of the end zone from 20 yards out. Seeley made a leaping, reaching grab that made up for a dropped fourth-down pass the previous drive.

“It was there and he dropped it. He was mad at himself,” Hathaway said of Seeley’s early drop. “I told him ”˜we’re coming back to you,’ and he made a couple of big catches there.”

Oak Hill’s Alex Mace added a 4-yard touchdown run to put the West up 20-0 before the East finally got on the board with two minutes left in the second quarter. Bucksport’s Matt Stewart, playing in his first series of the game, connected with Cony’s Taylor Carrier on a 28-yard pass.

Carrier was named the East MVP with seven catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

The East wasn’t able to carry any momentum into the half, however, as Nelson connected with Seeley again with three seconds left before halftime, as the West went up 26-7.

While Nelson and the West offense ”“ which was also bolstered by the running of Bonny Eagle quarterback Zach Dubiel ”“ was hard for the East defense to stop, the West defense shut down the East attack in the first half.

After consecutive years of the East’s aerial attack giving the West fits, the West put an end to it Saturday. Led by linebackers Tyler Frost, of Dirigo, and Brett Gerry, the Fitzpatrick Trophy winner from Marshwood, the West defense held the East to just one first down in the first quarter, and four punts and a turnover-on-downs before the first half-ending touchdown drive.

“You could throw Bryan Roberts in that group, too,” Hathaway said of the linebackers. “You play a 52 (defense), you’re asking those guys to make plays. They were flying all over the place. They’re good football players.”

The West got the ball to start the second half and wasted no time padding its lead. Nelson took a back seat on the opening drive, throwing just one pass while Wells’ Chris Carney, Oak Hill’s Kyle Flaherty and Westbrook’s Maurice Johnson split carries. Gerry then finished off the seven-play drive, which started at the East 32-yard line after a 68-yard kickoff return by South Portland’s Hayden Owen, with a 4-yard touchdown run.

After an East three-and-out on its first drive of the second half, the two teams traded off drives that ended with turnover-on-downs ”“ the West’s after a 13-play drive that included a successful fake-punt  run Mace, and the East’s after a six-play drive.

The West then went three-and-out and punted for the only time in the game. The East immediately responded with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Cony’s Mitchell Caron to Belfast’s Steven Davis.

The West then answered on the back of Dubiel’s legs. Gerry opened the ensuing drive with a short run, then Dubiel ran for 43 yards before running in from two yards out to put the West up 38-13.

“We were running a lot of the zone-read, and he was just making the reads and making them pay,” Hathaway said of Dubiel, who ran for 124 yards.

Oceanside’s Preston Spear picked off a pass by Bobby Chenard of Bucksport on the next drive for the game’s only turnover. Nelson then completed his quartet of touchdown passes six plays later, hitting Owen from 32 yards out.

Stewart connected with Carrier one last time on the East’s final drive to complete the scoring. Dubiel then did the honors of kneeling in the victory formation on the ensuing West drive to end the game.

“We talked about just doing your job, and playing 60 minutes, and finishing,” said Hathaway. “It’s all in the kids and the assistant coaches. They worked hard all week to execute. When they came out here, they just did their job.”

Holding the line

Both Hathaway and Nelson praised the offensive line for its hand in the success of the West attack. Included in that line was Thornton Academy’s D’Andre Morgan and Ben Zuke, Sanford’s Dakota Chapman and Kennebunk’s Jake Boothby.

“They accepted their coaching all week. They’re coming from different schools and different schemes ”¦ but when you’re playing offensive line, that’s a unit thing,” said Hathaway. “And those nine guys we had on the o-line, they really worked hard together to get it done.”

“The offensive line is crazy good. The offensive line played fantastic,” said Nelson.

The line helped the West offense put up 573 yards of total offense.

Remmes rushes in

The highlight of the West defense was the play of the linebackers, but Thornton Academy’s Jimmy Remmes also was in on some highlight-reel plays. He had two sacks on the day and was also in on some gang tackles that went for negative yards.

“One of my strengths is just using my hands. I didn’t get them going early, but then after I started getting adjusted to their offense, and feeling out their linemen, I was able to adjust and really just slap their hands away and work my way through that,” said Remmes. “I set a goal for three to four sacks this game, so I got pretty close to that mark.”

Warrior leadership

Carney had a relatively quiet night as part of the West offense, but he did hear his name called a couple times. One came during halftime, as he received the leadership award for the West. The award is voted on by the players. Thornton Academy’s O’Malley Walsh received the West leadership award for cheerleaders.

“It means a lot. It means more to me that my teammates felt that way,” Carney said of the honor. “There’s so many people that could have deserved that award as well. Everyone stepped up this week, and you could tell. You could tell by how we played. I thank my teammates.”

Carney did make some noise on the field, running 13 times for 67 yards in his final high school game.

— Sports Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.



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