BANGOR — They certainly couldn’t have filmed an episode of the popular high school football series “Friday Night Lights” at Cameron Stadium Friday night unless they called it “Friday Night Lights for 39 minutes.”
The John Bapst High School Crusaders were certainly lights out in the first half of their mutual season-opener against Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln and then the lights, literally, went out.
The Crusaders built a 25-0 lead and were leading 25-6 with nine minutes left when the lights went out at Cameron Stadium.
So the game was suspended and will be resumed on Saturday at 11 a.m.
John Bapst will have the ball facing a second-and-11 at the MA 49-yard line with just over nine minutes remaining in the game.
John Bapst High School athletic director Rick Sinclair said the cause of the problem was “unknown.
“Nobody tripped the (circuit) breakers and it wasn’t an electrical problem in the back shop,” said Sinclair.
“Our options were to try to assemble a Bangor Hydro crew and who knows how long that would have taken. And would they have been able to find a solution,?” posed Sinclair. “I could have called an electrician but we would have been in the same boat. So we decided to bring everybody back at 11.”
Another option would have been to call it an official game with John Bapst winning 25-6.
“That wouldn’t have been fair to the kids from Lincoln,” said Sinclair.
“I don’t have any words to describe this,” said John Bapst senior quarterback Deven Romain, who threw for three first-half touchdowns and completed 13-of-22 passes for 167 yards. “If you have to come back and finish off a game, you have to finish it off.”
“This will be something I’ll be able to tell my kids when I get older. I don’t believe this,” said John Bapst junior split end and cornerback Andrew Catlin.
He agreed with the solution.
“They were starting to come back on us. This is the best situation. It gives them a chance to come back,” said Catlin.
Mattanawcook coach Dave Hainer said it was the second time in as many weeks the Lynx have had the lights go out during a game.
“We played an exhibition game at (Foxcroft Academy) last weekend and the lights went out with two minutes left,” said Hainer.
Since it was an exhibition, they didn’t finish the game.
He said the decision to play Saturday was the “lesser of two evils.
“I’m not completely happy with it,” said Hainer. “My sister, Angela, is getting married in Cape Elizabeth so I won’t be at the game. But I feel this is best for the team.”
He explained that they couldn’t have played on Monday because they have a JV game scheduled “and when you’re a class C school, a lot of players play both JV and varsity. Then we would have had to turn around and play another (varsity) game on Friday night.”
Hainer called the situation “very bizarre.”
“I want to play but my mother doesn’t want me to because she has plans,” said Mattanawcook junior linebacker-running back Ben Ferland.
The game got off to a strange start as Mattanawcook fumbled the opening kickoff, John Bapst recovered and Romain capped a three-play, 36-yard drive with a four-yard TD pass to Catlin.
The Crusaders scored again on their next possession when Romain finished off an eight-play, 61-yard drive with a 32-yard strike across the middle to Jake Moore on fourth-and-five.
Brad DeCesere scampered 33 yards for a TD off a counter play with 6:11 left in the second quarter and Max Andrews made it 25-0 with a terrific one-handed catch as Romain found him over the middle for a 30-yard TD.
MA sophomore quarterback Trysten Pelkey scored off a nifty 23-yard run in the third quarter as he changed directions and bolted into the end zone.