ORONO, Maine — The Orono High School Red Riots had lost their last five games against Bucksport and dug themselves a 14-0 hole in the first half Friday night.
But behind the running of Norton Revell along with Mowrer brothers, Cameron and Christian, the Riots scored 38 unanswered points to earn a 38-14 triumph.
Orono is now 3-0 while Bucksport, which beat Orono twice a year ago including a 25-14 triumph in the LTC final, fell to 2-1.
The Red Riots controlled both lines of scrimmage, limiting the Bucks to 68 rushing yards on 32 carries, while rushing for 347 yards on 60 carries themselves.
The Mowrer brothers each scored a pair of touchdowns and Revell added a scintillating 62-yard TD scamper.
Nic Bishop’s one-yard TD plunge capped a 28-yard drive following a fumbled punt by Orono to open the scoring and a 46-yard pass from Matt Stewart to Josh Gray to give Bucksport a 14-0 lead.
But an eight-play, 80-yard drive finished off by Cameron Mowrer’s eight-yard run and quarterback Chad Orn’s conversion rush closed it to 14-8 with 11:55 left in the half.
Ethan Hall’s interception on the next possession set the Riots up at the Bucksport 48 and a nifty 42-yard run by Revell set up Cameron Mowrer’s four-yard run.
Cameron Mowrer added a two-point conversion to give Orono a lead it would never relinquish.
After a scoreless third period, Revell recovered a Bucksport fumble at the Bucksport-17 and Christian Mowrer eventually scored on a four-yard run.
“I was lucky. I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Revell about his fumble recovery.
With quarterback Stewart on the sidelines due to a minor head injury, the Bucks were unable to move the ball and, after a three-and-out, Orono took over on its 43 and, two plays later, Revell turned what appeared to be a minimal gain into his 62-yard scamper.
He kept his legs moving and broke several tackles as he expanded the lead with 4:58 left in the game.
“I had energy and I got some great blocks,” said Revell.
Christian Mowrer added a four-yard TD run with 2:07 left.
“We knew the game was going to be intense but we wanted to get revenge for last year,” said Orono standout two-way tackle Jack Lucy.
Lucy, the left tackle on offense, teamed with left guard Tyler Pinkham, center R.P. Moran and end Michael Fowler to consistently open holes and exploit the right side of the Bucksport defense.
“You’ve got to give credit to our line,” said Christian Mowrer.
“Football games are won and lost by who controls the offensive and defensive lines and Orono was a better football team tonight,” said Bucksport coach Joel Sankey. “It was a 16-14 game in the fourth quarter but we just ran out of people. We got some kids hurt and it was hard to keep up with them. They’re a good football team.”
Revell finished with 143 yards on 13 carries; Cameron Mowrer had 136 yards in 24 carries and Christian Mowrer contributed 74 yards on 14 rushes.
“Revell is a good back and the Mowrers are strong kids,” said Sankey.
After giving up 85 passing yards in the first half, the Riots limited Bucksport to six passing yards in the second half thanks to a better pass rush.
“Our defensive ends, Fowler and Christian Mowrer got into better pass rushing lanes in the second half,” said Orono coach Bob Sinclair.
The Riots lost two-way senior tackle Zack Landean early in the second period with what Sinclair suspected was a season-ending broken leg.
There was a half-hour delay as he was eventually taken by stretcher to a local hospital.
Riots assistant coach Jeremy Sterling had been knocked unconscious earlier when a Bucksport player accidentally ran into him on the sidelines. But Sterling remained on the sidelines for the rest of the game although Sinclair said he did go to a hospital after the game.
“Our coach got knocked out and we lost a player for the rest of the season. That motivated us,” said Christian Mowrer.
Sinclair said they moved right guard Brawley Benson to Landean’s right tackle spot and moved sophomore Seamus McKaig to right guard and he said they played well.
Stewart completed 10 of 18 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Nic Bishop led Bucksport in rushing with 68 yards on 19 carries and he also shone at his linebacker position. Jimmy Osgood turned in an impressive performance at tackle according to Sankey.
Lucy, Pinkham and the Mowrer brothers were among the standouts on defense for Orono along with Fowler.