June 23, 2018
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Chapman leads Bangor to homecoming victory over Messalonskee

By Charlie Merritt, Special to the BDN

BANGOR — Senior running back Cody Chapman rushed for 107 yards and scored three touchdowns Friday night to lead the Bangor football team over Messalonskee 37-14 on homecoming at Cameron stadium.

Bangor (4-4) used a balanced offensive attack, passing for 115 yards and rushing for 198, to keep the Eagles (6-2) defense off-balance.

“We’ve been through some adversity this season and it feels great to win the seniors’ last game at Cameron stadium,” said Chapman.

The Rams didn’t look like a .500 football team on Friday night. After the defense forced a three-and-out, the Rams’ offense was quick to strike. On the Rams’ fifth offensive play, Chapman took a fullback dive straight up the middle for a 30-yard touchdown.

The extra point by senior quarterback Carl Farnham gave Bangor the early 7-0 lead with 8:46 to play in the first quarter.

“This is a good football team that got off to a slow start because of some injuries and we had to limp our way back. We just had to beat a team with a winning record to prove that we were [a good team],” said head coach Mark Hackett, who added that a rumor that 12 players had quit from the team was untrue.

Messalonskee followed that up with its best drive of the night. Messalonskee put together a 17-play, 80-yard drive that ate up almost nine minutes to even the score at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Corey McKenzie finished the drive, taking a pitch around the outside for the nine-yard score. McKenzie would go on to be the leading rusher for the Eagles, gaining 231 yards on 26 carries and scoring two touchdowns.

Bangor answered with its own methodical drive, pounding the ball up the middle of the Eagles defense. Chapman eventually punched it in from two yards out and the Farnham extra point put Bangor on top 14-7 with 8:29 left in the second quarter.

“Our line played great tonight and without them we wouldn’t have been able to get nearly as many yards as we did,” said Chapman.

After the Bangor defense forced a three-and-out on the following possession, it was time for the special teams to bring some energy into Cameron Stadium. Senior wide receiver Matt Cosgrove fielded the Messalonskee punt at his own 35-yard line, broke the first tackle while running up the middle, and then made a quick move dashing to the left sideline, taking it all the way to the end zone for the 65-yard punt return.

The extra point put Bangor ahead 21-7 with just over six minutes to play in the second quarter.

“I caught it on the run, made a little move to the right, then the left, and my blockers did a great job blocking in front of me and I just saw daylight,” said Cosgrove who finished with 70 yards on five catches.

Messalonskee turned the ball over three times in the contest, and Bangor capitalized on all of them. The defense forced the Eagles’ quarterback to fumble on the following possession, giving the ball to the Rams on their own 27-yard line.

A few plays later Farnham hit Cosgrove on a 31-yard pass, putting the Rams deep in Messalonskee territory. Farnham finished the drive with a 35-yard field goal, giving Bangor the 24-7 lead with 28 seconds left in the second quarter.

Messalonskee got the ball back expecting to run a few plays and go to the locker room. With five seconds left the Eagles called timeout to run one more play.

McKenzie received the pitch and burst through the line of scrimmage, outracing the Rams’ secondary for a 58-yard touchdown as time expired in the first half, cutting the lead to 24-14.

“I didn’t say a whole lot at halftime, but I didn’t want to lose the kids,” said Hackett.

Messalonskee was unable to ride momentum in the second half and was held scoreless by a stout Bangor defense. With about 10 minutes left in the third quarter, the Eagles mishandled a handoff, resulting in a turnover at midfield.

After a 17-yard scramble by Farnham and a late hit by Messalonskee, the Rams were able to put the game out of reach. Chapman punched in his third touchdown from one yard out, giving Bangor the 31-14 lead just over seven minutes left in the quarter.

Messalonskee was starting to put together a nice drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the Rams defense came up big again. Junior defensive back Logan Lanham came across the middle to intercept a pass that bounced off of a receiver’s fingertips to seal the deal.

The offense ran a 14-play, 73-yard drive capped off by a 5-yard touchdown pass to junior Nick Ashey to put the score at 37-14. Farnham finished 10-of-15 passing for 115 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers.

“Throwing the football adds diversity and gives us a better ability to run the football as well. It opens everything up,” said Farnham.

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