A few final thoughts on this year’s Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl, as we now look forward to the football season…

* A big round of applause goes to Tim Luttrell, Jason Fuller and all the Shriners for making the game run as safely as possible despite the high temperature.

The temperature on Waterhouse Field was around 100 degrees throughout Saturday’s game, despite the late afternoon start. An hour before the 4 p.m. kickoff, it was decided to play four 12 minute quarters rather than the Lobster Bowl’s traditional 15. That decision shaved a complete quarter of play worth of time off the game clock. That’s 12-more minutes the players didn’t have to exert themselves in what were the hottest conditions any of them had ever played football.

Officials also added numerous water break timeouts to the game, at least two each quarter. There’s no doubt the players felt the heat, many commented on it during and after the game, but the Shriners made the best of what could have been a bad situation.

* Every high school football coach in the state can use this year’s game as a teaching tool. It doesn’t matter if you race up and down the field against an opponent, if you don’t take care of the football, you will not win.

The East outgained the West 291 yards to 209 and had 15 first downs to the West’s 11. But five interceptions and two bad snaps derailed too many East drives.

The West had two big plays, Imadhi Zagon’s 86-yard kick return in the fourth quarter and Zagon’s 27-yard touchdown run in the second. They also held on to the ball, committing just two turnovers.

* Zagon and Edward Little running back Teven Colon were worthy Most Valuable Players for the West and East, respectively. Here are some other players who stood out in Saturday’s game:

West receivers John Hardy (Deering) and Ethan Drigotas (Kennebunk) combined for 15 catches for 138 yards.

Alexander Rose (Livermore Falls) had two interceptions for the West, both in the final minutes of the game, to kill the East’s late rallies.

Jacob Halberg (Camden Hills) had a sack, and Charlie Tapley (Stearns) recovered a West fumble. They, along with the rest of the East’s defensive line, controlled the line of scrimmage for much of the game. Mt. Blue’s Colten Miranda and the other East linebacker were the beneficiaries of the line’s work, and picked up a number of tackles.

* At halftime, Mike Haley of the Maine High School Football Coaches Association presented the John R. Schmidlin Trophy to winners in all three classes. The trophy is awarded to the most outstanding senior player in all three classes.

The Class A winner was Luke Duncklee of Cony. In Class B, Cameron Kaubris of Mountain Valley won, while Chris Desmond of John Bapst was the winner in Class C.

Kyle Bishop of Waterville and Spencer Ross of Dirgio took home the sportsmanship awards.

* Now into its third decade, the Lobster Bowl has become what its creators envisioned, a competitive game that raises a lot of money for the Shriner’s Hospitals.

Saturday’s game was the third in a row to be decided in the final minutes, and to have the final score separated by less than a touchdown. While the West holds a 16-6 lead in the series, that margin came in the Lobster Bowl’s early days, when the West won the first nine games.

The West’s win this year broke a two-year streak for the East, and dating back to the East’s 55-8 win in 2003, the East holds a 5-4 lead.

A competitive game year in, year out can only increase the Lobster Bowl’s popularity, and that in turn, will bring more money to the Shriner’s Hospitals. That’s the reason this game is played, after all, and cannot be understated.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

 

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