OAKLAND — Brunswick star running back Jared Jensen had been averaging nearly 300 yards per game. On Friday night, Messalonskee held him to 80 yards on 21 carries. The Eagles limited Brunswick to 159 total yards, including 39 in the second half.

Messalonskee’s problem was that Brunswick’s defense played just as well, especially on two-point conversions.

Each team scored two touchdowns, but the Dragons got an extra point from the foot of Adam Casey. That was enough to hand Messalonskee its first loss and give Brunswick a 13-12 victory at Veterans Field.

Brunswick (5-1) was coming off a 34-7 loss to Cony. Messalonskee, which played without running back Corey McKenzie (concussion) is also 5-1.

“We have not played good defense yet this year, and we hurt ourselves when we lost to Cony,” Brunswick coach Dan Cooper said. “The defense played very well (tonight).”

“Brunswick came in, played tough,” Messalonskee interim coach Chapin LaBelle said. “They were tough up front. We knew they were going to be. It was the first team we’ve seen this year that wanted to punch us in the mouth, and they came in here and did that. We fought back hard. We made a few too many mistakes, but hey, it’s better it happens now than three weeks from now.”

Jensen ripped off a 19-yard run on his first carry of the night, but was otherwise held in check. The Eagles put together a drive late in the first quarter and went up 6-0 when Josh Woodard hit a wide-open Ryan Fecteau in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 2:26 left in the quarter.

Brunswick tied the score in the second quarter with a play-action pass when Jason Carter found Nolan Robbins all alone for 44 yards and a touchdown. It was Brunswick’s only pass completion of the night.

The Eagles had the first of many frustrating drives when Fecteau caught a 20-yard pass to the Brunswick 17-yard line as time ran out in the first half. That was forgotten when Devin Warren took the second half kickoff, put on a speed burst through a lane, broke a tackle and sped the rest of the 97 yards for a touchdown. Messalonskee was again stopped on the two-point conversion, but led 12-6.

Later in the third quarter, Brunswick’s Jason Carter angled a 33-yard punt that was downed at the Messalonskee 2. On the next play, Brunswick’s Alex Bandouveres recovered a fumble in the end zone, and Casey’s kick made it 13-12 with 8:27 left in the quarter.

“The kid was going toward the line,” Bandouveres said. “He got pushed back. I just stripped it from him. I was a little confused at first, but I was in the end zone, so I was pretty happy.”

In the fourth quarter, Messalonskee’s Dean Northup recovered a fumble by Jensen at the Brunswick 32, and the Eagles drove to a first and 10 at the 14. On fourth and 6 from the 10, the Eagles lined up to go for it, but committed a false start penalty. Warren then tried a 32-yard field goal attempt that was plenty long but wide left.

The Eagles had another chance with about 90 seconds left, and had to go for it on fourth and 4 from the Brunswick 48. With Messalonskee’s band playing while the game was going on, the Eagles again were called for a false start. On the next play, Warren had Woodard’s pass in his hands for a split second, but Jensen hit him and knocked the ball away.

Messalonskee started its last drive from its 40 with 34 seconds left. Woodard hit Fecteau for 22 yards and Brunswick’s Jacob Duffy wrapped him up to save a touchdown. After another false start penalty on the Eagles, Woodard hit Tony Bellavance to the 37, but Bellavance couldn’t get out of bounds and time ran out before Messalonskee could run another play.

“We could play these guys 10 times and it’s going to probably come down to a one-score game every time,” Cooper said. “Fortunately, it worked out for us tonight.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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