BANGOR, Maine — Adam Whittier’s 70-yard punt with the wind at his back pinned the Bangor football team at its 9-yard line late in the first quarter Friday night.
But Lonnie Hackett didn’t mind — it gave him more room to run.
The senior tailback raced 91 yards in just 14 seconds on the next play for a touchdown, the highlight of a 21-carry, 285-yard performance that propelled the unbeaten Rams to a 39-8 victory over Cony of Augusta at Cameron Stadium.
“The line opened up a great hole and all I had to do was run through it,” said Hackett of his sprint down the right sideline with 9:42 left before intermission. “There were two guys I had to beat and luckily it was a race to the finish line and I beat them.”
Hackett had Bangor’s first three touchdowns of the evening, with additional scoring runs of 4 yards in the first quarter and 6 yards in the second period to help the Rams built a 27-0 halftime lead.
But it was his 91-yard jaunt — on the second play after Cony’s Luke Duncklee couldn’t come up with what looked like a sure touchdown catch that would have at least tied the game at 6-6 — that forever changed this game’s outlook.
“We hit a post over the middle and our best player didn’t make a play right there,” said Cony coach Rob Vachon. “[Duncklee] makes those plays all the time, so that’s going to happen, but it changed the complexion at least for the first half, because that puts us up possibly 7-6 and gives us a little momentum.”
Instead, Hackett’s longest run of the night gave Bangor a 14-0 lead, and the margin grew to 27-0 by the break as Hackett added his final TD run and quarterback Joe Seccareccia passed 11 yards to Josiah Hartley for a touchdown with 8.6 seconds left in the half.
“We’ve been capitalizing on our first couple of series on offense every game,” said Hackett, “and it really helps when you go up 14-0, especially defensively because the other team can’t just run the ball and run some clock, they have to start scrambling a little bit.”
Hackett’s performance — coming off a 300-yard effort a week earlier during a 55-13 victory over Mount Ararat of Topsham, was complemented by a coming-out party of sorts by senior fullback Maxx Alexander.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Alexander, playing his first full season of organized football, gained 112 yards on 18 carries and scored on a 2-yard run late in the third quarter that extended Bangor’s lead to 33-8.
“He took a huge leap in this game,” said Bangor coach Mark Hackett. “Maxx just ran like a man. He looks like the fullback I’ve dreamed about having with some of the tailbacks we’ve had.”
Bangor’s final touchdown came on 2-yard pass from backup quarterback Dylan Morris to Nick Sherwood with 2:33 left in the game.
Bangor amassed 555 yards of total offense, including 473 rushing yards on 62 carries behind the offensive line work of Joe Quinn, Andrew Logan, Alex McDade, Jacob Thompson and Josh Bishop.
That group was inspired by linemate Tommy Augustine, a senior captain who underwent successful arthroscopic surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus and hopes to return to action later this season.
“His teammates miss Tommy greatly because he gives us such an emotional lift,” said coach Hackett, “but they did him proud tonight because they played well for him.”
Bangor’s defense limited Cony to 195 total yards, 72 on a touchdown run by Duncklee on the first play of scrimmage in the second half.
“I’m happy with our defense holding them down and giving the offense the ball more times,” said coach Hackett, “because we’re so athletic and skilled on offense, we’re going to put up points.”