BREWER, Maine — Facing spread offenses has been no problem this football season for the Brewer High School Witches.
Having successfully defended those of Mount Ararat of Topsham and Oxford Hills of South Paris, the Witches were well prepared for Cony of Augusta’s five-wideout shotgun attack.
The Rams found themselves in a black hole of uniforms, as the Witches allowed only 156 yards of total offense while compiling two long touchdown drives themselves in earning a hard-fought, 14-0 homecoming victory at Doyle Field Friday evening.
Brewer forced Cony into a turnover on its first possession of the game, as the Witches recovered a fumble at their own 48, then rode their double-wing offense into a 52-yard, 12-play march that culminated in Pat McEwen’s three-yard touchdown run.
McEwen also ran in the two-point conversion to give Brewer an 8-0 lead.
“We’ve been saying all along we’re a smash-mouth team, we take it to our opponents really hard and we have heart when we do it,” said senior two-way lineman Jon Thoms.
Both teams’ defenses took over from there, and the Rams forced two Brewer turnovers in the second quarter, but couldn’t turn them into points.
In fact, after an interception, they had a first-and-goal at the B-6, but the Rams abandoned their spread for a power-I, and Brewer’s defense responded, with Andy Bush stopping Cony runner Chris Robinson at the 2.
“That really broke us out, that just gave us more heart and more desire,” Thoms said.
After receiving the second-half kickoff, the Witches went back to their smash-mouth forte and pounded the Rams’ tough defensive front, marching 80 yards in 15 plays and eating up 7 minutes and 15 seconds.
“They had a pretty tough defense but our line pushed them back, we got four, five, six yards at a time, that’s what we really needed,” said Brewer tailback Billy Bissell, who capped the march with a four-yard TD scamper off left tackle.
Bissell led Brewer’s ground attack with 97 yards on 19 carries while McEwen compiled 54 on 13.
After a motivating halftime speech from coach Don Farnham, Brewer came out on all cylinders after intermission, knowing eight points might not be enough.
“Coach Farnham fired us up big time, we wanted to get that extra TD,” Bissell said. “We wanted to get more.”
The Witches’ running attack held tough, compiling 256 yards on 59 carries as a team, an average of just over 4 yards a carry.
A solid effort against a Cony defense that came out in a 50 base, featuring five down linemen and three to four linebackers.
“It was pretty tough, a lot more clustered together,” said Bissell. “We fought through it.”
Brewer’s defense held tight in the second half, not allowing the Rams to cross midfield while Kyle O’Connell recorded a game-clinching interception with just over three minutes to play.
Luke Duncklee finished 3-for-7 passing for 64 yards for Cony while Greg O’Neill had four receptions for 52 yards.