AUGUSTA — There weren’t many vintage defensive stops Saturday afternoon on either end of windswept Alumni Field.
When Edward Little’s offense did run into a brick wall, the damage often was self-inflicted. Six minutes of ball control after the opening kickoff ended with a lost fumble in Cony territory. Another series stalled with a shanked punt into the wind after the Eddies elected not to go for fourth-and-inches.
And mixed results weren’t enough to keep pace with Cony or junior quarterback Ben Lucas, who accounted for five touchdowns in a 41-13 Rams rout.
Chandler Shostak caught three of Lucas’ four touchdown passes. Lucas also completed a 25-yard TD to Zach Lachance and ran for a 29-yard score.
“When the plays break down, we seem to have a connection,” Shostak said. “(Lucas) knows where I’m going to end up, and I know where he’s going to throw.”
Lucas completed 14-of-27 for 248 yards, connecting with six different receivers. Shostak snagged four for 78 yards, including touchdown grabs of 12, 7 and 16 yards.
Cony (1-1) turned over the ball only once — an interception by Quin Leary late in the second quarter — and didn’t punt until its final series.
“We talked about starting strong and finishing strong, and except for a little hiccup in the first quarter I thought we controlled the first half,” Cony coach Robby Vachon said.
Brendan Surette stripped the ball from Johnny Boyd’s hands and Keith Cloutier covered it to snuff out the first Eddies march.
After EL (0-2) gave up the ball with the 16-yard punt, Cony needed only three plays to reach the end zone on the Lucas-to-Lachance connection to close the first quarter.
Another promising Eddies excursion ended on downs at the Cony 23. Several long runs by Brandon St. Michel and Tayler Carrier set up a short scoring strike from Lucas to Shostak, and in a relative flash, it was 21-0.
“We didn’t finish, and that’s what we have to get better at,” EL coach Dave Sterling said. “We need to get the defense off the field at times. When you’ve got a good opening drive like that, then you fumble and breathe life into the other team at the start of the game and put your own self behind a rock, it’s tough.”
Hard running by Boyd (27 carries, 10 yards) and a big grab by Leary on third-and-10 led the first of two short scoring runs by EL quarterback Sean Ford.
EL threatened to take another bite out of the deficit after Leary’s pick. The Eddies reached the 17-yard line before third- and fourth-down offerings to the end zone fell incomplete.
Helped by a roughing-the-passer penalty, Cony needed only five plays to score on Lucas’ long run to start the second half.
“There’s still a lot of things that we have to work on, but I’ll take this,” Lucas said. “It’s good to come out here and win our home opener.”
Cony expanded the lead to 41-6 on a TD rush by Charlie Hallak late in the third quarter and another Shostak catch in the fourth.
“Again this week we didn’t really help ourselves. We’d get them in a long-yardage situation and give up the pass,” Sterling said. “We’ve got to really tighten up on our secondary coverage.”
Ford found the end zone from 3 yards out with 6:15 left. He was 12-for-28 for 168 yards through the air. Leary amassed 109 all-purpose yards, highlighted by 35 on a fake punt.
EL defensive lineman Shammond Thomas was injured after tackling Carrier late in the third quarter. The game was delayed 15 minutes while the 350-pound freshman was immobilized.
Thomas had movement in his extremities, according to Sterling. He was transported to the Augusta hospital for evaluation of a possible concussion.