Reposted from the Waterville Sentinel
BY TRAVIS LAZARCZYK Staff Writer
BANGOR — It was late in the third quarter, and the play seemed to sum up how the football game was going.
Maine Central Institute defensive back Tyler Maloon got a hand on the ball, but as he fell, John Bapst receiver Mark Dieuveuil made the catch at the MCI 5-yard line. Two plays later, John Bapst scored again.
It took the better part of the first half, but once the Crusaders offense got rolling, it wouldn’t stop. John Bapst’s offense made big play after big play, and the defense stepped up with one stop after another. The result was a 35-0 win for the Crusaders.
No. 2 John Bapst (8-2) moves on to play at No. 1 Stearns (10-0) for the Little Ten Conference title next Saturday afternoon in Millinocket. No 3 MCI ended the season 6-4.
“They were hitting on all cylinders tonight, and they’re a good football team. They’ve gotten better and better each week. We’ve watched it happen, and they played with a lot of confidence,” MCI coach Tom Bertrand said.
When John Bapst and MCI met in Pittsfield in September, the Huskies forced six turnovers and won 13-7. When the Crusaders fumbled a punt early in the second quarter, John Bapst coach Dan O’Connell felt a sense of deja vu.
“What we needed to prove was that we could take care of the ball. MCI is a well-coached team. They play hard. They’ve got a lot of talented athletes,” O’Connell said. “If we didn’t take care of it, like we didn’t early in this game, too, with the fumbled punt, it could have gone either way.”
MCI couldn’t capitalize on the turnover, and midway through the second quarter, the Crusaders finally got moving. On second-and-8 from the MCI 21, quarterback Jordan Charpentier hit Andrew Catlin with a touchdown pass, capping an eight play, 65-yard drive with 1 minute, 57 seconds left in the first half.
After forcing the Huskies to go three and out, the Crusaders struck again, this time a 41-yard touchdown pass from Charpentier to Lucas Philippon with 15.6 seconds left in the second quarter for a 14-0 halftime lead.
“I think we were waiting for the other shoe to drop a little bit. We were kind of playing tentative. We just needed a spark, and once we got one big play we started rolling,” O’Connell said.
Charpentier (11 for 18 for 191 yards passing) threw his third touchdown pass, a 39-yard strike to Max Andrews, midway through the third quarter for a 21-0 lead.
“They saw what we were doing defensively, and started throwing the football, and they made some big plays,” Bertrand said.
Charpentier added an 8-yard touchdown run seven seconds into the fourth quarter, and Jake Leonard had a 6-yard touchdown run with 4:58 remaining to close the scoring.
Defensively, the Crusaders did a good job making the Huskies hurry, forcing quarterback Craig Reazor to make passes more quickly than he would like.
“We were a little bit confused early on with their motions and their backs out of the backfield. They unleash a lot of receivers with that sprint pass game. We were getting crossed up a little bit,” O’Connell said. “Once we buckled down, figured out what we were supposed to do, took a deep breath, we got a little more pressure on Reazor and made him make decisions earlier, and we were able to get some stops.”
Reazor ran for 29 yards and passed for 81 for MCI. Tyler Maloon had 41 yards rushing and 24 receiving for the Huskies.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242