LEWISTON — Six straight Pine Tree Conference losses. That’s the bad news for Lewiston football.
Seven kick return touchdowns and two more years of eligibility for Quintarian Brown and Sheon James. That’s substantially better news.
Lewiston bowed to Bangor on Friday night at Don Roux Field, 37-20, but not before Brown and James demonstrated to a small, well-bundled crowd why the Blue Devils’ future shimmers.
Brown erupted for a 49-yard touchdown run and a 91-yard kick return, keeping the Devils’ average of special teams scores at one per week.
“Unfortunately we have a lot of practice at that,” Lewiston coach Bill County said with a laugh.
James added a 61-yard scamper to the end zone on a counter play in the fourth quarter.
Those home runs couldn’t keep up with Bangor’s bundle of line drives, however. The Rams (3-4) played the power game to perfection, feeding the Devils (1-6) a steady diet of Cody Chapman.
Chapman collected 37 carries for 264 yards and three touchdowns — totals that could have been higher had not a pair of long scoring runs been wiped out by holding penalties.
Bangor and Lewiston share a rare view from the bottom half of the PTC. They slugged it out in the Eastern Class A championship only two seasons ago.
“It’s all about having fun at this point. We’re not going to make the playoffs,” Chapman said. “It’s good to come down here and get a win. We’ve just got to keep our heads up. We’re playing for our manhood right now.”
Carl Farnham completed TD passes of 10 and 19 yards to Nick Ashey for the Rams, who scored on five consecutive possessions after Chapman’s lost fumble with 3:22 remaining in the first half.
Garrett Strout smothered Brendon Rac on a fake punt to stop Lewiston’s ensuing series near midfield.
Given life by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty — Lewiston’s Ace Curry was ejected in the aftermath — Bangor marched 53 yards in six plays. Farnham hit Ashey for 26 yards on third-and-16 before finding his senior classmate again over the middle to put Bangor in front with 37 seconds to go.
Farnham’s extra point supplied Bangor’s 13-6 halftime lead.
Lewiston received the second-half kickoff but gained only one yard prior to Tom Hird’s punt, setting the stage for another Bangor burst.
Chapman and Zeb Tuell shared the load on seven straight carries, none for fewer than four yards.
After Chapman’s 12-yard TD was called back to set up third-and-long, Farnham located Ashey wide open for a 19-yard score.
“I think they probably ran ‘iso’ and ‘dive’ a hundred times,” County said. “It was kind of old-school football. I’ve been on that team.”
Another three-and-out set up seven straight surges by Chapman, punctuated with a 3-yard plunge. Farnham’s boot made it 27-6 with 1:20 left in the third.
Strout, Greg Duff, Brandon Vang, Brendan Moore and Cam Dickson provided the push up front for the Rams.
“The line did a great job. They’ve improved a lot,” Chapman said. “We just have to play every snap to the fullest. The seniors only have two games left. It’s the last time they’ll ever step on a football field for most of them.”
Brown has plenty of pigskin glory left, much to the future chagrin of PTC coaches and prospective tacklers.
His return late in the third quarter supplemented 18 carries for 122 yards out of the backfield.
“I think we struggle up front. It takes time to build that,” County said. “Skill kids, you’re kind of born with that speed. You have that gift.”
Middle linebacker Zach Phelan and Brian Wigant, both seniors, had a hand in double-digit tackles for the Devils along with sophomore Stone Colby.
Steven Patrie also had a sack of Farnham that held Bangor to a field goal early in the fourth quarter.
“Some of those seniors, they really are leaders. They’re certainly not doing this for any glory right now,” County said.