March 21, 2019
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Wells running back becomes first Class D player to win state’s top football award

Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer
Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer
Foxcroft Academy senior Hyatt Smith looks to make a move on Wells senior Tyler Bridge after hauling in a catch during the second quarter of the Class D state final at the University of Maine in Orono on Nov. 17, 2018.

Tyler Bridge put an exclamation point on an outstanding football career when he ran for 201 yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries in Wells High School’s 55-20 victory over Foxcroft Academy in the Class D football state championship game on Morse Field at Alfond Stadium in Orono last November. He also threw a touchdown pass.

Performances like that enabled Bridge to become the first Class D player and first Warrior to earn the James J. Fitzpatrick Award which is awarded to the best senior football player in the state.

The other finalists were running backs Anthony Bracamonte of Saco’s Thornton Academy and Zack Elowitch of Portland High School.

The state’s head coaches and media members vote on the award.

The powerful 205-pound Bridge rushed for a school-record 2,390 yards on 215 carries and scored 45 touchdowns in leading Wells to its third straight state championship, one in Class C and two in Class D. He amassed 3,055 total yards and, as a cornerback, had four interceptions and 48 tackles.

Bridge scored on touchdown runs of 60, 58, 32, 4 and 1 yards against Foxcroft Academy and threw a 42-yard TD pass to Payton MacKay.

The versatile Bridge was also a punter and kick returner for Wells, which has won 28 consecutive games.

Bracamonte, the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, racked up 2,137 all-purpose yards including 1,037 rushing yards and 578 receiving yards on 27 catches in leading Thornton Academy to the state Class A title.

Elowitch rushed for 2,162 yards, including 244 in the state championship game loss to Thornton Academy, and a school-record 26 TDs.



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