OAKLAND – Through three games, getting into the end zone and capping off drives had been a bit of a concern for the Messalonskee football team.

It is pretty safe to say, the Eagles alleviated those worries Friday night at Veterans Field.

After falling behind by a touchdown early, Messalonskee (2-2) responded with 27 unanswered points in the first half and went on to down Brewer (1-3) 40-21 to seal the homecoming victory.

“We finally put up some points,” junior Jack Bernatchez said.

Leading the charge on that front was Bernatchez, as the bruising running back carried the ball 28 times for 215 yards and four touchdowns.

“We got our linemen up front getting huge holes and I was just running the course,” Bernatchez said. “The other team was hitting hard, but we were hitting a little harder.”

Messalonskee had some success moving the ball on its first drive, but ultimately was forced to punt after picking up just a single first down.

The Witches responded with an 11-play, 68-yard drive that chewed more than seven minutes off the clock as Tyler Friel capped off the long possession with a touchdown plunge from 2 yards out.

Bernatchez and the Eagles quickly let Brewer know, however, that they were ready to put their offensive struggles behind them.

Bernatchez took a handoff up the middle on the ensuing play and broke a series of tackles en route to a 55-yard touchdown run with 2:40 remaining in the opening quarter.

“The kids are just resilient and tough and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Messalonskee coach Brad Bishop said. “We played two freshmen tonight and a bunch of sophomores and geez, I couldn’t be more proud of this group.”

One play later the Eagles were right back at it, as Jake Dexter picked off his Brewer counterpart Logan Rogerson to give Messalonskee excellent field position at the Brewer 44-yard line.

This time it was Austin Pelletier capping off the eight-play drive – which featured a 4th-and-3 conversion run by Dexter and 3rd-and-10 completion from Dexter to Bernatchez — with an 11-yard touchdown run.

The Eagles continued to pour it on from there, as Brewer went three-and-out and a 42-yard punt return from Dexter set up a 6-yard touchdown run from Bernatchez with 5:39 left in the half to put Messalonskee ahead 21-7.

Bernatchez then scored his third touchdown of the half — this one from 25 yards away — exactly 4 minutes and 2 seconds later following another Brewer punt, but just when it seemed the Witches were about to fade, they managed to throw a counter punch with just 73 seconds remaining in the half.

A 22-yard run from Rogerson and 38-yard pass set Brewer up 1st-and-goal at the Messalonskee 3-yard line, and two plays later Severance plunged into the end zone with 9 seconds remaining to make 27-13 at the break.

The fireworks continued out of halftime with Dexter scoring on a 6-yard run and Rogerson finding Tyler Davis on a 20-yard pass for matching touchdowns, but from there the offenses cooled.

Bernatchez added his fourth touchdown on a run from 1-yard out with 3:27 remaining in the contest to cap the scoring.

“I just want to say something about these kids. We only have 17 upperclassmen and they played a well of a game,” Bishop said. “We’ve played well all year and I’m very proud of this group.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

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Twitter: @Evan_Crawley