AUGUSTA — Both Cony and Messalonskee high school football teams entered Friday’s game at Alumni Field looking to find answers to questions left by graduation. Those answers came more quickly to Cony.

Down 11 points midway through the second quarter, the Rams scored 20 unanswered points to take a 23-14 Pine Tree Conference win.

The win came at a price, however, as Cony senior Tayler Carrier was ejected in the third quarter for throwing a punch. Carrier must sit out next week’s game at Brewer.

Before the ejection, Carrier was Cony quarterback Mitchell Caron’s favorite target. Carrier had 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown, and seven of his receptions were good for a first down.

Caron threw for 239 yards and a pair of scores while running in another.

“It’s not a simple offense to run. You have to make a lot of reads,” Cony coach Robby Vachon said. “Mitchell made a few mistakes, but he battled. He made throws when he had to.”

Caron’s first touchdown pass was a 26-yard strike to Carrier in the back of the end zone with 4:26 left in the first half to cut Messalonskee’s lead to 14-10. With 45 seconds left in the half, Caron scored on a 1-yard keeper to give the Rams the lead for good, one play after an 18 yard pass to Carrier put Cony on Messalonskee’s one.

With 3:25 left in the third quarter, Caron found Kyle Armstrong for a 19-yard touchdown pass that pushed Cony’s lead to 23-14. Both teams had chances deep in their opponents territory in the fourth, but neither could capitalize.

Messalonskee did capitalize on an early Cony mistake. Forced the punt on its first drive, Cony gave the Eagles the ball at the 17 when the snap sailed over punter Reid Shostak’s head. Four plays later, Messalonskee had a 7-0 lead on Jake Dexter’s 1-yard keeper.

“We had a poor start, obviously,” Vachon said. “We didn’t execute, we turned it over, and we gave them great field position.”

After Spencer Buck hit a 22-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3, Messalonskee mounted an eight-play, 81-yard drive in the second quarter, culminating with Jack Bernatchez’ 13-yard touchdown run for a 14-3 lead with 8:39 left in the first half.

Bernatchez led the Eagles with 95 yards on 19 carries, and Dexter ran for 59 yards, but mistakes were too much to overcome, coach Brad Bishop said.

“We did not line up in the correct formation more than twice in a row,” Bishop said. “That’s my fault. We’ll get better.”

Reid Shostak ran for 106 yards on 10 carries for the Rams, most coming on an 80-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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