BANGOR, Maine — Bangor and Brunswick already have battled for athletic supremacy once this fall, meeting on the soccer field with an Eastern Maine Class A championship at stake.
Brunswick won that match 2-1 in double overtime, and tonight the Dragons and Rams will clash with yet another berth in a state championship game at stake — this time on the gridiron.
“Obviously it’s been just as special for Brunswick as it has been for Bangor,” said Bangor football coach Mark Hackett, whose team will host the Dragons for the Pine Tree Conference Class A championship at Cameron Stadium at 7 p.m. “It’s been great for both schools.”
At 10-0, top-seeded Bangor is seeking its first undefeated season since its most recent state championship run in 2001, and its first Eastern A crown since 2004.
The Rams feature one of their more balanced offenses in recent years, led by the PTC’s leading rusher in Lonnie Hackett (251 rushes, 1,879 yards, 23 TDs).
That ground game, ignited by the blocking of linemen Joe Quinn, Andrew Logan, Jacob Thompson, Ben Rapaport and Josh Bishop, tight end John Kelley and fullback Maxx Alexander, has been complemented by an effective passing attack spearheaded by junior quarterback Joe Seccareccia.
Seccareccia has completed 70 of 125 passes for 1,164 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. Rangy wide receivers Nate Henigan (34 receptions, 378 yards) and Josiah Hartley (26-439) are Seccareccia’s primary targets.
Seccareccia (61 tackles, 5 interceptions) also leads the Rams defensively from his safety slot, along with junior linebacker Nic Cota (65 tackles).
“We feel there are areas where we match up with them very well,” said Brunswick coach Dan Cooper. “But Bangor has some very talented athletes that we have to deal with.”
Third-ranked Brunswick (9-1) has won seven straight games, including a 27-14 upset of No. 2 Lawrence in the semifinals Friday night at Fairfield.
“For the last four or five weeks, we’ve executed very well,” said Cooper.
Senior Rashon Edgerton ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass and threw a halfback option pass for a touchdown in that victory, and his presence both in the backfield and as a receiver has been seen as pivotal to the Dragons’ success.
Edgerton has 550 rushing yards and 422 receiving yards, while fullback John Williams (971 rushing yards, 250 receiving yards), Dylan Walton and Max Roberts are other offensive threats working with quarterback Stefan Jensen.
Linebackers Williams and James Cjeka anchor the Brunswick defense.
“They’re diversified,” said coach Hackett. “They have a lot of weapons, and they play very good defense. All I know is we better not make mistakes, and we better play better than they do in two of the three phases of the game.”
In their most recent meeting, Brunswick built a 20-0 halftime lead against Bangor during Week 2 of the 2008 regular season before holding on for a 20-12 victory.
But more memorable may be the teams’ last meeting in an Eastern Maine final in 2003, when future Florida State basketball player Ralph Mims and star fullback Phil Warren helped Brunswick edge Bangor 14-12 at Cameron Stadium to earn its most recent regional crown.
“I know it was about zero degrees that night, and everyone from Brunswick was at the game,” said Hackett. “It was a great football game.”