Ben Lucas of Cony High in Augusta became the all-time career passing leader in Maine high school football this season and led the Rams to their first state football title since 1932.

To no one’s surprise, Lucas, a 6-foot-4 quarterback, was named Monday as one of the 12 semifinalists for the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy.

The Fitzy is given to the top senior football player in the state.

Justin Zukowski’s selection as a semifinalist was also no surprise. The Portland High fullback/linebacker rarely left the field, led Eastern Class A in rushing and was second in tackles. The Bulldogs lost in the Western Class A final.

Each high school team was allowed to nominate one player for the 43rd annual trophy. The trophy committee reviewed the nominees and winnowed the list to the semifinalists. Playing ability, academics, other school activities and school citizenship were key criteria.

The semifinalists are put on a ballot mailed to the state’s head coaches and media members. The top three vote-getters will be announced as finalists, and the winner will be announced Jan. 19.

Nine semifinalists are from southern Maine, two from central Maine and one from eastern Maine.

A look at each of them:

Teagan Candage, Mt. Desert Island: A running back/safety, he rushed for 1,184 yards and averaged 9.6 yards a carry. He has a 3.1 grade-point average.

Corey Creeger, Biddeford: A running back/safety, he accounted for 648 yards. He averaged 7 yards a carry and caught 18 passes, a 17.8-yard average. He has a 3.1 grade-point average.

Nicco DeLorenzo, Kennebunk: A fullback/linebacker, he helped spark the Rams to the Western Class B title, rushing for 1,296 yards. He averaged 7.5 yards a carry and was dominated at linebacker. DeLorenzo has a 89.4 grade-point average.

Ben Greenberg, Scarborough: Greenberg, a quarterback/safety, accounted for 1,865 yards. He passed for 12 touchdowns and ran for 11. Greenberg carries a 99.6 grade-point average.

Kyle Heath, Westbrook: Heath, a quarterback/defensive back, accounted for 951 yards. He had a 6.0 yards per carry average and scored 10 touchdowns. Heath played on all special teams for the Blazes and rarely left the field. He has a 93 grade-point average.

Ben Lucas, Cony: Lucas passed for 3,500 yards and 41 touchdowns. He has a state-record 89 career touchdown passes and just over 8,000 career passing yards. He led Cony to the Class B state title. He has an 89.9 grade-point average.

Cody Lynn, Thornton Academy: Lynn, a tight end/defensive end, caught 38 passes for 592 yards. Defensively, he had 59 solo tackles. He carries a 3.5 grade-point average.

Levi Morin, Leavitt: Morin played center/linebacker for the Class C state champion. He finished with 87 tackles. Morin has a 96 grade-point average.

Cody O’Brien, Cheverus: O’Brien, a fullback/linebacker, rushed for 650 yards and scored 11 touchdowns for the Stags, the Class A state runner-up. He averaged 8.1 yards a carry and made 34 solo tackles. O’Brien has a 3.5 grade- point average.

Duncan Preston, South Portland: Preston is a quarterback/linebacker who led the Riots to the playoffs. He amassed 2,772 yards and scored 32 touchdowns. He completed 61.5 percent of his passes. He was also the Riots’ punter and kickoff man. He has an 88.6 grade-point average.

Jedidiah Scott, Sanford: Scott was a two-way tackle for the Spartans who was a force on both sides of the ball. Scott has a 94.8 grade-point average. Scott got a late start in football but has made rapid progress.

Justin Zukowski, Portland: A fullback/linebacker, Zukowski led Eastern Class A in rushing with 1,531 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. He was second in Eastern Maine in tackles with 90, solo and assisted. Zukowski carries a 94.8 grade-point average.

Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH

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