WELLS — Tyler Bridge took the opening kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown – the first of his four TDs – as Wells High pulled off a convincing 40-14 win over Cape Elizabeth on Friday night.

Wells won its 18th straight game since losing at home to Cape 13-7 in the final week of the 2016 regular season.

Bridge scored two more touchdowns in the first half on runs of 4 and 14 yards as the Class D Warriors (2-0) built a 28-7 lead. He then busted the Warriors’ first play of the second half 72 yards for another touchdown, finishing with 183 rushing yards on 13 carries and 290 all-purpose yards on 16 touches.

“He is so good, you know. That kickoff return for the touchdown. He blocks on the edge. If he’s not one of the best players in the state I don’t know what we’re going to look at anymore,” said Wells Coach Tim Roche.

Bridge also saved a touchdown late in the first half when he ran down Matt Conley after a 46-yard pass by Andrew Hartel.

That was a rare positive play on offense for Class C Cape (1-1). Its first-half score came on a 74-yard interception by Jack Tower that tied the score at 7-7.

Wells’ offense had a decided edge in the first half, grinding out 37 plays for 245 yards, including Braeden MacNeill’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Matt Ouellette on fourth down. Cape ran only 16 plays for 93 yards in the first half, struggling to find running room inside against a defensive front that included MacNeill, the QB, at tackle.

Matt Tufts (10 carries, 89 yards) added a 15-yard score to increase Wells’ lead to 40-7. Wells attempted to push the game to running time but MacNeill was sacked.

Hartel (12 of 27, 187 yards passing) was able to engineer a scoring drive with Tower plunging over from a foot on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Wells is 25-1 since the start of the 2016 season and only four of its games have been decided by less than 17 points. Three of those were against Cape: the 2016 loss, Wells’ 27-14 win in the 2016 Class C South final, and last year’s interclass slugfest at Wells that the Warriors won, 14-7.

“That’s a huge win,” Bridge said. “We expect that to be the biggest rivalry of the year and to come out here and get a big win like that, it’s awesome.”

It wasn’t all Bridge, though. Wells’ defense completely negated the Capers’ running attack, holding them to three yards on six carries in the first half.

For the most part the Warriors’ defensive backs, including Jacob Scott, did a good job defending Cape’s receivers. Scott had a pass break-up in the end zone on the final play of the first half.

Offensively, Wells’ fullback tandem of Tufts and Jonah Potter combined for 138 yards, and both Peyton MacKay (six carries, 49 yards) and Devin Chace (4-26) busted for big outside runs, often with Bridge as the lead blocker.

“I mean, Tyler Bridge is a big difference in any game but by the same token we did it with other weapons,” Roche said. “Braeden threw the pick early, and he came back and we got a touchdown pass out of him.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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