BIDDEFORD — Mt. Blue High School quarterback Jordan Whitney only had a week to practice with his East receivers leading into the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl. On Saturday afternoon, it looked like Whitney had been playing football with his wideouts his entire life.
Whitney completed 14 of 28 passes at Waterhouse Field, for 311 yards and two touchdowns. That offensive output helped the East overcome five turnovers to earn a 25-13 win in the annual game for the Shriner’s hospitals.
“This whole week, I’ve been hitting them in practice. In the game, it just worked out perfect, just the way we wanted it to,” said Whitney, who was named East Most Valuable Player. At halftime, Whitney was presented the John R. Schmidlin Trophy coaches award as the best player in Class B in 2012.
The East win snapped a two-game win streak for the West, which leads the series, 17-7.
Whitney’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Foxcroft Academy’s Ryan Rebar (four catches for 63 yards) late in the third quarter gave the East the lead for good, 18-13. The play came minutes after Sanford’s Alex Shain broke off a 75-yard touchdown run to give the West a 13-12 lead.
“I dropped back and the corner turned on Rebar and he was wide open,” Whitney said.
The East showed that the passing game was going to be successful right from the game’s first play, a 48-yard fade pass from Whitney to Cony’s Chandler Shostak.
With 8 minutes, 48 seconds left in the second quarter, that same fade combination resulted in a 60-yard touchdown pass, and when Gardiner’s Dennis Meehan kicked the extra point, the East had a 7-0 lead.
“Whitney likes to throw the fade ball. I like to run it, and we went deep,” Shostak, who had five catches for 155 yards, said. “We all just had a great week and had fun together. We all just meshed and I think that worked out on the playing field.”
Shain (12 carries for 129 yards) scored on a 4-yard run with 43 seconds left in the first half to tie the game at 7-7, but Whitney and the East put together a six-play, 55-yard drive to set Meehan up for a 30-yard field goal as the half ended, giving the East a 10-7 lead.
When Oxford Hills defensive end Dexter Turner sacked West quarterback Jacob Desrocher of Massabesic in the end zone for a safety with 13:11 left in the third quarter, the East had a 12-7 lead.
For most of the game, the East defense did a nice job containing a strong West running game, led by Shain, Don Goodrich of Cheverus (13 carries for 52 yards) and Traip’s Cordero Aldecoa (10 carries for 46 yard). Goodrich, winner of the Fitzpatrick Trophy last season as the state’s top player, was held to zero or negative yardage on six carries in the second half.
“They’ve got great running backs. We just wanted to contain them, not get anything outside,” said Lawrence safety Spencer Carey, who recovered a Goodrich fumble near midfield in the fourth quarter.
“We stacked (Goodrich) up. When the ball was on the carpet, people were diving at it. I was just lucky to come up with it.”
Twice, the East defense forced the West to turn the ball over on downs inside the East’s 20-yard line, once in the first quarter and again early in the fourth.
“Those were huge momentum shifts for us. As a defense, we just wanted to make big plays and turn it over to our offense. We were able to do that today,” Carey said.
Mt. Blue’s Chad Luker closed the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown run with 4:21 left in the game, running over Windham’s Damien Shepard at the goal line.
Bangor’s Matt Cosgrove had four catches for 76 yards for the East.
Despite Shain’s strong game, Goodrich was named West MVP.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242