Kennebunk quarterback Tripp Bush fires a pass during Thursday night’s game against Brunswick. ALEX SPONSELLER/Journal Tribune

Kennebunk quarterback Tripp Bush fires a pass during Thursday night’s game against Brunswick. ALEX SPONSELLER/Journal Tribune

KENNEBUNK — The Kennebunk football team delivered a 35-0 shutout win over visiting Brunswick in a rematch of the 2016 Class B state championship game.

The Rams produced in all three phases on Thursday, overwhelming the Dragons with a strong passing offense, tight defense and timely plays on special teams.

Despite a slow start, the Rams offense would catch fire late in the first quarter when quarterback Tripp Bush hit Derek Smith for a 70-yard score. 

Bush would connect with Zack Sullivan, who would pull of the hook and lateral with Smith for a 62-yard for a score to extend the lead to 14-0 midway through the second.

The turning point of the game came with 38 seconds remaining in the half, when defensive lineman Cole Hoffman forced his way through the Brunswick line to recover a blocked punt in the Dragons endzone to set the score to 21-0 at halftime.

“We’re young (and) that Kennebunk team is very talented. We couldn’t block (Hoffman) all night. The hitch and pitch we couldn’t have defended any better, perfect throws over the top. Their athletes are good,” said Brunswick coach Dan Cooper. “That was disappointing. We felt that we had played a pretty good first half but then the score was 21-0.”

Kennebunk would keep things going in the third as the Rams got a 2-yard touchdown up the gut from Dante DeLorenzo to put the game out of reach at 28-0. Bush would later hit Sullivan for a 21-yard score in the fourth to secure the 35-0 win.

Kennebunk coach Joe Rafferty was pleased with his team’s offensive performance, and ability to score on big plays.

“That’s been our offense since day one. Every team has certain plays that they put in for certain situations, whether it’s trick plays, whether it’s a kickoff return late in the game, you play around with different things and we’ve had (the hook and lateral) in the offense for as long as I’ve coached,” said Rafferty.

Rafferty was also happy with his defense’s performance, especially up front. The Dragons did not record 100 yards of scrimmage until late in the fourth quarter.

“They did very well, we got a lot of pressure on the quarterback early. I thought end to end, I was very pleased with the way we played,” said Rafferty.

Bush finished the day with 166 yards passing along with 42 yards rushing. Sullivan racked up 132 yard receiving.

DeLorenzo had another strong performance in place of injured Jake Littlefield, and led the Rams with 60 yards on the ground.

“Dante has been huge. I think Dante is a great inside runner, he does great on defense, he has big shoes to fill and he’s done a great job,” Rafferty said.

Jack Harvey led the Dragons with 52 yards on the ground while Owen Richardson added 31. 

Despite the loss, Cooper was happy with his team’s effort.

“We did our best to regroup, stay positive. The kids battled, the scoreboard doesn’t reflect how hard we played,” said Cooper.

The Rams improve to 5-0 on the year, and Bush was excited for his team to keep the streak alive while getting some revenge on Brunswick.

“We started off kind of rocky at first (this year) but we had great leadership from our captains. Everyone on the team has really stepped up,” said Bush. “They’re a great team but we were ready to play them. It was always in the back of our minds that we were ready to play Brunswick. It’s definitely big, definitely going to give us a bunch of momentum. It’s a great win.”

Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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