BIDDEFORD — Imadhi Zagon wasn’t even supposed to be on the kickoff team. But with the West down by four points with four and a half minutes to play in the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl, Zagon asked his coaches to let him try and return the kick.

“I said ‘I think I can return it,'” Zagon said.

Zagon’s hunch proved prophetic. After making the catch at the 14-yard line, Zagon broke free from a handful of tacklers at the 40, before busting to the outside and outrunning everybody for the 86-yard touchdown return.

The return gave the West the lead, and after a pair of interception’s by Livermore Falls’ Alexander Rose in the last three minutes, the West had the 16-13 win.

The West’s win snapped a two-game win streak for the East, and gave the West a 16-6 advantage in the series. Zagon was named the West Most Valuable Player, while Teven Colon of Edward Little High was the East MVP.

Temperatures were near 100 degrees throughout the game at Waterhouse Field, so Shrine officials elected to play 12 minute quarters rather than the traditional 15 for the game. On the field, the players were given numerous water breaks.

Moments before Zagon’s kick return, Colon scored on a 3-yard run to give the East a 13-9 lead with 4:36 left in the game. Colon’s run capped an 11-play, 60-yard drive. After a West pass interference penalty on the East’s first 2-point conversion attempt, an East run for the conversion was stopped just short of the goal line.

Still with the lead, the East felt it had momentum. The East defense held up all game, allowing just one touchdown, a 27-yard Zagon run on fourth and inches with 5:02 left in the second quarter.

“(Zagon) just ran through some tackles (on the kick return),” Mt. Blue linebacker Colten Miranda said. “He’s a strong, strong kid.”

Following Zagon’s return, the East took over on its own 20. An offensive pass interference call stalled the East, and on third down and 24 from the 16-yard line, Cony’s Luke Duncklee had a pass picked off by Rose.

The East got the ball back on its own 34 with 1:40 left after Waterville’s Kyle Bishop tackled Zagon (seven carries, 64 yards) in the open field on fourth-and-4. Bangor’s Joe Seccareccia was intercepted by Rose on the 45, and after the Livermore Falls cornerback returned the pick to the 23, the West ran out the clock for the win.

The East had five turnovers, and a pair of bad snaps cost the East more points. The West earned a safety when a snap went over Duncklee’s head and through the end zone with 6:49 left in the second quarter, making it a 7-2 game.

In the third quarter, the East had second-and-goal at the West 1, but another bad snap pushed the East back to the 30 yard line, and the drive fizzled.

Aside from Zagon’s touchdown run in the second quarter, the West offense never got inside the East’s 20-yard line.

“It was a few big plays they had. We shut them down,” Winslow defensive end John McCabe said. “We should have won the game.”

Early on, it looked as if the East might score 40 points, like it did in last summer’s win. The East went 56 yards in six plays on its opening drive, scoring when Seccareccia hit Belfast’s Lani Eversage with a 29-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-5 pass with 8:07 left in the first quarter.

Duncklee threw for 58 yards and ran for 32 for the East. Colon gained 61 yards on 12 carries.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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