WATERVILLE — The flash and pizzazz of a once-electrifying Leavitt offense are no longer apparent.

“We are more ground and pound now,” Leavitt senior running back/receiver Brian Bedard said. “It’s kind of what we do.”

The Hornets did it quite well Saturday, when they blanked Waterville 16-0 in a Pine Tree Conference Class B game at Drummond Field.

Bedard rushed for a game-high 166 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Almost half of his yards came on one play, an 80-yard touchdown run with 44 seconds left in the second quarter that gave the Hornets (5-0) a 14-0 lead.

His interception in the end zone with 2:40 left in the half set up that game-changing score.

“I was only expecting like five yards,” Bedard said, “but a hole opened up and I was off to the races. I made a move on a safety and then had to out-run another one of their guys. It was a big play.”

The score stuffed the Purple Panthers (3-2) in a hole they would never climb out of. Waterville struggled to move the ball against a tough Leavitt defense. The Panthers had just 72 yards of total offense.

Sophomore Cameron Thomas led the way with 25 yards on 10 carries.

“We’re still looking to make big plays on offense,” Waterville coach Frank Knight said. “But (Leavitt) made it tough for us to run. They are undefeated for a reason. It was a good effort, it just wasn’t good enough.”

Leavitt scored the only touchdown it would need when Bedard rushed for a 3-yard touchdown with 5:49 left in the first quarter. The score came two plays after Waterville fumbled a punt inside its own 10-yard line.

Clay Rowland came up with the ball, and two plays later Bedard punched it in.

“It was pretty much a dive up the middle,” Bedard said.

Leavitt pushed its lead to 14-0 when Bedard broke through the line and rushed for the 80-yard score late in the second quarter.

“Our offense is a little different,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “We’re trying to spread the ball around. We move Brian around a lot. We’re still figuring things out, but we have a lot of guys to give the ball to.”

The Hornets, the three-time defending PTC B champs, added a safety in the fourth quarter thanks to a bad snap that sailed into the end zone.

Waterville had just 11 net yards in the second half. It drove inside the Leavitt 40-yard line just once in the game.

“It was a battle of field position and it was clearly won by them,” Knight said. “We just couldn’t make the mistakes we made.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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