LEWISTON — Running back Quintarian Brown and quarterback Eddie Emerson are two cool customers whose cavalier approach to a desperate situation can be unnerving.
The Blue Devils were down by four with 42 seconds remaining in a Class A football game against the Bangor Rams on Friday night. It looked like Bangor had it locked up, but Brown and Emerson hooked up two key passes that gave Lewiston an eye-popping 31-29 victory at Don Roux Field.
Emerson didn’t need to be told that time was of the essence. The senior quarterback rattled off three key completions, with Brown swallowing up the game-winning touchdown pass with seconds left in the game.
But at no time did Lewiston’s whiz kids feel pressured or panicked.
“No, you always have to have faith,” Brown said. “(Emerson) is a great quarterback. He led us down there with with 42 seconds left. What can I say?”
When Emerson threw a 20-yard pass to Brown, Emerson’s aerial antics said plenty and it apparently stunned the Rams. The Blue Devils touched down at the 30-yard line and Emerson connected again with Brown for the game-winner. The kick failed, but it didn’t matter at that point.
“I knew it was going it was going to go to him, and I had to get that one off quick so if he didn’t score or didn’t catch it, we would have time for another play,” Emerson said. “I think we have the best three wideouts in the state. This was a big win for us and it help us move forward to the end of the season.”
But turn the clock back a few seconds and it looked as though the Rams had the game in the bag.
“So did these guys,” Bangor coach Mark Hackett said, referring to his squad. “We didn’t have it in the bag tonight. It was a good night for them and the community and they deserved it.
“I am going to take my hats off to them. They have struggled. They started coming after it. We got our butts kicked tonight. And they came back and they wouldn’t quit. It looked like we wouldn’t quit, and then they throw 68 yards and beat us.”
After a fireworks display lit up the field to honor a couple who gave $200,000 to the Franklin Pasture Sports Complex Fundraising Campaign, both teams were equally explosive on the field.
Brown stunned the Rams when he ran back a 75-yard kickoff return on the opening kick of the second half. Bangor matched Brown’s heroics when Dane Johnson scored on a 32-yard rush and Brennen Corliss topped it off with his extra-point kick to make it a 19-14 game in Lewiston’s favor.
In the fourth quarter, Lewiston scored again to make it 25-13 with 9:32 left . Stone Colby, who serves at the team’s human bulldozer, barreled in from the 6-yard line to score.
The Rams returned the favor when Xavier Lewis connected with Nick Ashley for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
But both teams kept trading blows. Lewiston hooked up with Jake Fournier for the two-point conversion. Lewiston still held a narrow 25-22 lead before the Rams took command when Logan Lanham scored his touchdown to give his team a 29-22 lead with 42 second left in the game.
“This was a tremendous swing in emotions,” Lewiston coach Bill County said. “The kid from Bangor made a great catch on the sideline to put them in a great spot. They wear down some clock and we just go to what we have.
“I think the objective there was to get the ball into Quintarian’s hands and see what he can do, and he did well. This is a big win for our program.”