ORONO, Maine — The undefeated Orono High School Red Riot football team was a heavy favorite on Friday night against a visiting Dexter High School team that had won only one game a year ago.
The Tigers, who have already won two games this fall under first-year coach Kevin Armstrong, gave the Riots all they could handle and more but Orono prevailed 50-44 in a wild penalty-filled game dominated by the offenses.
The teams combined for 764 yards in total offense with Orono holding a 394-370 edge.
Orono had 18- and 19-point leads but couldn’t put the determined Tigers away until Christian Mowrer’s three-yard touchdown run with 4:10 remaining made it 50-31.
Dillon Garnett’s 10-yard run cut the lead to 50-38 with 56 seconds left and, after the Tigers recovered an onsides kick, Trevor Fogarty tossed a 19-yard TD strike to Matt Crane on the game’s final play.
“They hit hard. They hit harder than us today. They outplayed us, I’m not going to lie,” said Orono standout senior running back Norton Revell, who carried the ball nine times for 120 yards and scored three touchdowns.
“They played very well,” said junior quarterback Chad Orn, who carried the ball eight times for 72 yards and threw a pair of touchdown passes despite injuring his shoulder in the second period and sitting out a couple of series.
“I sucked it up and played. I did it for the team,” said Orn.
Dexter senior running back Andrew Levensalor, who gained 111 yards on 18 carries and broke tackle after tackle all night long, opened the scoring with a five-yard run before Orono scored three straight touchdowns on Christian Mowrer’s 12 pass from Orn; Revell’s 11-yard run and Christian Mowrer’s 20-yard run.
Fogarty’s six-yard run cut the lead to 22-12 but after the two teams swapped fumbles, Christian Mowrer capped a four-play, 39-yard drive with a two-yard plunge.
That came with 33 seconds left in the half.
But on Foxcroft’s first play from scrimmage, Fogarty tossed a short pass to Levensalor in the left flats and he busted a few tackles and rambled 54 yards for a touchdown.
Revell dashed 72 yards on the first play in the third quarter; Levensalor answered with a four-yard run and Revell caught a 24-yard pass from Orono to make it 44-25.
“(Revell) goes out of the backfield and I just lob it in the air. It’s up to him to catch it,” said Orn.
Fogarty tossed a 64-yard TD pass to Matt Crane before Christian Mowrer’s 11-yard TD run made it 50-31.
Dexter had two touchdowns negated by penalties and another potential TD pass to a wide open receiver was dropped.
“We had a good performance tonight,” said Fogarty. “I was happy with the way we played. There are a lot of things we can fix.”
Christian Mowrer finished with 156 yards on 16 carries for the 4-0 winners.
Fogerty completed seven of 26 passes for 177 yards. Crane caught four passes for 107 yards.