BANGOR – Junior tight end Max Andrews caught a touchdown pass, returned an interception for another score and fell on a teammate’s fumble in the end zone for a third touchdown – all in the first half — as John Bapst of Bangor defeated Rockland 26-6 in an LTC football game at Cameron Stadium on Saturday night.
The win leaves John Bapst at 2-0 and one of just three remaining unbeaten teams in the Eastern Maine Class C ranks along with Stearns of Millinocket and Calais-Woodland. Rockland dips to 1-1.
John Bapst took a 6-0 lead with a 44-yard drive on its first possession that featured balance – 20 yards rushing and 24 yards passing, including a 12-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jordan Charpentier to Andrews in the right slot with 7:21 left in the first quarter.
Andrews then scored defensively on the first play of the second quarter, intercepting a Sam Meklin screen pass into the left flat and sprinting down the sideline 49 yards to
the end zone with 11:46 left in the first half. Mark Dieuveuil kicked the extra point to give the Crusaders a 13-0 lead.
Andrews found yet another way to score later in the period, recovering a fumble in the end zone on a carry by Charpentier to make it 20-0 with 7:36 left before intermission. The recovery capped off a seven-play, 56-yard drive that was ignited by a 27-yard pass down the left sideline from Charpentier to Dieuveuil.
Rockland got on the board with 3:49 left in the half on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Meklin to tight end David Harrison. The play capped off an 83-yard march by the Tigers that also included completions of 21 and 45 yards from Meklin to Dan Hendricks.
One play after Meklin was stripped of the ball for a 20-yard loss, the sophomore quarterback found Harrison open along the right sideline, with a key block by Hendricks at the 25 freeing Harrison to race to the end zone.
Rockland threatened after taking the second-half kickoff, marching to the John Bapst 14 before the drive ended when Meklin was sacked by Andrews and Chris Desmond on a four-and 10 play.
John Bapst drove to the Rockland 24 midway through the fourth quarter before Rockland’s defense stiffened, forcing a 40-yard field goal attempt by Dieuveuil that went wide left.
But the field position eventually paid off, as Bapst forced Rockland to punt and the Crusaders extended their lead to 26-6 on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Charpentier to Lucas Philippon with 4:15 left in the game.