OAKLAND — If someone told you a football player from Messalonskee had more than 100 yards rushing and more than 100 yards receiving in the same game, you probably would guess it was Sam Dexter.

But an Eagles player did pull off the “double-triple” Friday night against Bangor, and it was sophomore Corey McKenzie.

Dexter had the play of the night — more on that later — but McKenzie carried the ball 16 times for 104 yards and three touchdowns and caught three passes for 130 yards and another touchdown as Messalonskee survived a wild game to pull out a 39-20 victory over Bangor in a key Pine Tree Conference Class A game.

“Previous weeks, I didn’t do so well,” McKenzie said. “So I knew I had to come out and play my hardest. I had a good feeling I was going to get more rushes, but I didn’t have any idea I was going to be getting the ball tossed to me so much. It was a great team effort, I think.”

Quarterback Travis St. Pierre completed seven of 14 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns for Messalonskee (6-2), which stormed to a 20-0 lead at halftime. McKenzie scored the first touchdown on a 15-yard run, and St. Pierre threw touchdown passes of 17 yards to Gage Landry and 7 yards to Dexter, who made a fine catch while double-teamed.

“We kind of just took what they gave us,” Messalonskee coach Wes Littlefield said. “I think they really wanted to force us to throw the ball a little bit, and we did.”

Bangor (6-2) got back in the game by driving to a 3-yard touchdown run by Cody Chapman (24 carries, 145 yards) to open the second half. But Messalonskee’s Kyle Gleason returned a short kickoff 29 yards, and McKenzie needed only two carries to cover the last 36 yards. So just 44 seconds after Bangor’s score, the Eagles had pushed their lead back to 26-7.

The Rams nearly got that touchdown back right away, but Dexter stepped up with an amazing effort.

With the ball on the Bangor 37-yard line, Chapman got the ball and burst through a hole on the right side. As he raced down the sideline, he appeared to have a sure touchdown, but Dexter caught him from behind, and at the 1-yard line, reached around and poked the ball out of Chapman’s hands and through the end zone for a touchback.

“(Dexter)’s the best player in the league — I said it before we played them,” Bangor coach Mark Hackett said. “He is the best athlete in the league. He beats people so many ways. We thought we were going to do that to him — he did it to us. Our kid wasn’t hot-dogging it. It was a great play by them.”

“I was just sitting on the sidelines hoping someone would catch him,” McKenzie said. “I just see Dex come and pop the ball out. That was a big change in the game right there. We were all pretty excited about that.”

Bangor still got within 26-20 on another touchdown run by Chapman and a 46-yard punt return for a score by Nick Sherwood. Messalonskee fired back when St. Pierre’s bomb to McKenzie just eluded Bangor defensive back Xavier Lewis and went for a 51-yard touchdown.

McKenzie later had a 69-yard catch-and-run play to set up his fourth touchdown of the game, and Gleason and Dexter each had interceptions in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

“They beat us, really twice,” Hackett said. “They beat us in the first half, we made a game of it, and they beat us in the second half.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243
[email protected]


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