High school football

Passing game pushes John Bapst past Mount View

Posted Sept. 10, 2011, at 6:39 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 11, 2011, at 8 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The John Bapst Memorial High School passing game again proved to be prolific as senior quarterback Deven Romain threw for three touchdowns and more than 200 yards for the second straight game to lead the Crusaders to a 35-16 win over Mount View at Cameron Stadium Saturday afternoon.

John Bapst of Bangor, which built a 35-0 lead, is now 2-0 while Mount View of Thorndike is 1-1.

Romain completed 12 of 21 passes for 240 yards after completing 17 of 30 passes for 207 yards in a season-opening 38-6 win over Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln last weekend.

“Their passing game killed us,” said Mount View senior quarterback and defensive end Jalen Babin, who was the game’s leading rusher with 98 yards on nine carries.

Babin ran for both touchdowns and two-point conversions.

“They have a lot of good receivers so you can’t key on just one guy,” said Mustang senior running back-inside linebacker Craig Nealley, who rushed for 50 yards on 13 carries.

“The line did a great job [protecting me] and all the receivers did a great job catching the ball,” said Romain.

Mount View almost stunned the Crusaders on the game’s opening play from scrimmage when Ryan St. Clair busted a 25-yard run only to have Austin Spencer make a touchdown-saving tackle at the John Bapst 43-yard line.

John Bapst eventually forced Mount View to punt and, after Romain connected with Sean O’Donnell on a 25-yard pass play, Andrew Catlin scampered 55 yards off the left side to give the Crusaders a lead they would never relinquish.

“It was a sweep and I just followed Max’s (Max Andrews) block,” said Catlin.

The Mustangs had a golden opportunity to tie it after recovering a fumbled punt at the JB-18 but a holding penalty, one of several costly drive-killing penalties on the afternoon for the Mustangs, derailed them and John Bapst marched 74 yards on seven plays to make it 14-0.

A 26-yard screen pass from Romain to Jake Moore set up a 28-yard TD strike from Romain to Moore with 10:24 left in the half.

“It was a seam route,” explained Moore, who ran straight down the right side, got behind his defender and hauled in the perfectly thrown ball from Romain.

Later in the second period, a 17-yard punt gave John Bapst the ball at the MV-24 and, five plays later, Romain tossed a five-yard TD pass on a quick slant-in route to Mark Dieuveuil to make it 21-0.

The Crusaders received the second-half kick-off and scored two plays later.

Romain connected with Moore on an 18-yard pass and then lofted a ball to the five-yard line where the 6-foot-3 Andrews out-jumped the smaller Mustang defensive backs and fought his way into the end zone. The play covered 28 yards.

Screen passes were extremely effective and John Bapst used a 14-yarder from Romain to Brad DeCesere to jump-start the next series, which yielded the Crusaders’ final touchdown.

Moore turned a short pass into a 27-yard gain with some nifty running and that set the ball up at the one-yard line from where Romain snuck it into the end zone.

“They were over-pursuing on screen plays and we took advantage,” said Romain.

Dieuveuil kicked all five extra points.

The Mustangs moved the ball effectively between the 30-yard lines but mistakes, mostly coming in the form of penalties, stalled their drives.

An interception and 31-yard return by Mount View’s Mark Dolloff set up their first touchdown with 2:16 left in the third quarter.

Babin scored on a six-yard run after highlighting the drive with a 37-yard dash.

He added a four-yard run with 5.5 seconds left in the game.

Mount View coach Jack Brady said he saw a “lot of positives” from his team but “we also made some youthful mistakes.”

“We’ve got a good football team,” said Brady, who felt his team did a much better job in pass coverage in the second half.

He said the Crusaders have a “real solid quarterback and excellent receivers.”

Brady praised the performances turned in by Babin, Nealley, linebacker Mike Robinson and defensive tackles Ben Koman and Clint Spaulding.

The Mustangs held John Bapst to 91 rushing yards on 19 attempts.

The Crusader defense did an excellent job pressuring Babin in passing situations thanks to some effective blitz schemes. He was held to four completions in 11 attempts for 60 yards.

However, the Mustangs rushed for 235 yards on 49 carries.

“They had a big, physical offensive line,” said John Bapst’s Andrews, who felt the Mustangs were significantly improved over previous years.

Babin and Nealley said they hurt themselves with penalties.

Andrews was outstanding on defense for John Bapst along with free safety Spencer and linebackers DeCesere and Nick Jordan.

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