BREWER — The fireworks lighting the sky as the Brewer High School football players walked off Doyle Field on Friday night were part of the annual Brewer Days festivities.
But you couldn’t blame the Witches for internalizing the celebration.
After just one victory in its final two years of Class A play, coach Don Farnham’s club required just two games to match that total in its return to Class B as Brewer produced touchdowns on six of its seven possessions to outscore Old Town 44-36.
“It’s definitely the first of better things to come,” said Brewer senior wide receiver and safety Anthony Jackson. “It’s definitely going to give us some momentum and get us fired up.
“We finally get to feel what it’s like to win a game here and sing the school song. It’s been rough for a while, but this is great.”
Jackson scored on the first play from scrimmage, taking a direct snap and racing 51 yards for a touchdown on a play conceived by assistant coach Chris Horr just before game time.
“We thought it would be a great first play because no one has seen it,” said Farnham. “It was fun as coaches because we created something we thought could work and it worked, and the kids executed and ran hard. For the last four years in Class A those kinds of things didn’t happen for us.”
Old Town got a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Cameron Archer on its first possession to take an 8-6 lead, but that was the only time Brewer trailed during a slugfest that featured a 694 total yards and no turnovers.
Old Town (0-2) rushed for 342 of its 382 total yards out of its double-wing attack, with senior wingback Danny Rivers amassing 201 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.
But the Coyotes managed just one run of more than 20 yards while Brewer’s newly installed spread offense produced plenty of fireworks. The Witches ran just 26 plays from scrimmage compared to 71 for Old Town, but Brewer averaged 12 yards per play while accumulating 312 total yards.
“We were going to treat this like any other game, said junior quarterback Chris Miller, who passed for 148 yards and two touchdowns. “We were going to come in and fight as hard as we could until the last whistle. That’s what we’re supposed to do, and we did that and came out with a solid win.”
Junior running back Dillon Smith added 106 rushing yards and three touchdowns, two running and one receiving, while working behind the offensive front of Marcus Eaton, Shane McLaughlin, Jessie Boucher, Cody Johnston and John Collins.
“The big men really opened up the holes and gave the rest of us time to make the plays,” said Miller.
Brewer (1-1) took a 14-8 lead on a 15-yard run by Smith late in the first quarter, but Old Town forged a 14-14 tie on its next possession as Rivers scored from 10 yards out.
Miller then scored on a 17-yard quarterback draw and passed to Nate Morris for the two-point conversion to give Brewer a 22-14 cushion before something rare occurred as the Witches stopped Old Town on downs.
Brewer then extended its lead to 30-14 when Miller found Jackson open down the right sideline for a 51-yard touchdown strike with 13 seconds left in the half. Miller then passed to his brother, Ryan Miller, for the two-point conversion.
Old Town got no closer than the final score after intermission despite touchdowns from Brian Guay on a 26-yard pass from Archer, Rivers on a 7-yard run and fullback Jonathan Toole when he recovered his own fumble in the end zone with 51 seconds left in the game.
Brewer, which stopped Old Town’s first possession of the second half at the 1-yard line, added a 38-yard pass from Miller to Smith in the third quarter and a 28-yard run by Smith in the final period.
“We have kids who haven’t won on this field in three years, all of our wins have been away,” said Farnham. “The kids really wanted to win on this field, and that’s all we talked about all week, that it’s time to win.”