AUGUSTA — Ben Lucas knows a thing or two about what it takes to run the Cony High School football team’s offense.

The winner of the 2013 James J. Fitzpatrick and Maine Gatorade Player of the Year awards, Lucas completed 222 of 369 passes at quarterback last season for 3,482 yards, 41 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

He has had a couple opportunities to watch his former team play this season and he too has witnessed what the rest of the Pine Tree Conference B has also seen — Mitchell Caron is the real deal.

“He’s done a real nice job,” Lucas said of his successor. “He’s really progressing, getting a lot more comfortable in the offense and starting to execute the plays a lot better.”

From day one Caron has said he is not Ben Lucas, but with four games down and four to go in the regular season, the Rams’ signal caller has put up some impressive numbers in his own right.

This season, Caron is completing 63.5 percent of his passes (87-of-137) while throwing for 1,188 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions — both of which came off deflections in Cony’s 52-27 loss to undefeated Brunswick on Sept. 19.

“I don’t think anybody could see that coming, especially for a kid in his first year playing varsity football at the quarterback position,” Cony coach Robby Vachon said. “I’ve been amazed — as well as (assistant/quarterbacks) coach (B.L.) Lippert — with how quickly he’s picked up the offense, how much we’ve been able to give him and the way he’s been able to execute it on Friday nights.”

Caron has been much more than just a passer for Cony though. In four games he has rushed for 200 yards and five touchdowns, and is also in his second year as a starter on defense.

In this past Friday’s 30-13 win over previously unbeaten Lawrence, Caron threw for 339 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, rushed for 50 yards and was also a force on defense — something that was not lost on his opposition.

“We as coaches have kind of commented on that after the long weekend having time to think about it,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “He did all that as well as play defense. We feel he’s a well-rounded player. He wasn’t just out there on defense on the football field, he was out there playing defense. That’s quite a tribute to him as a football player.”

This weekend Skowhegan has the unenviable task of trying to slow up Caron and the Rams’ high-flying offense, and the Indians are well aware of what awaits them Friday night at Alumni Field.

“I’d say right now at this point in the season he’s the most complete quarterback (in PTC B),” Skowhegan coach Matt Friedman said. “There are some great athletes at the quarterback position in our league, but from the standpoint of being able to throw the ball as accurately as he does and run the ball as well as he does, he’s probably No. 1.”

You don’t become one of, if not, the top quarterbacks in a league as competitive in PTC B on your own though. Caron has put in plenty of work to get to where he is, but has also had coaches and teammates there along the way to help out — in some cases since one of his very first practices freshman year.

“(Coach Lippert and I) were playing catch before one of the practices in the gym, it was a rainy day, double sessions and he was like, ‘throw the ball again,'” Caron said. “I threw it probably 45 yards, perfect spiral and he said, ‘you’re going to be a quarterback.'”

Caron was the Rams’ JV quarterback as a freshman and sophomore, and last year got reps in practice — as well as the occasional mop-up duty in blowouts on Friday nights — behind Lucas.

This past summer he began preparing to take over as Cony’s new signal caller, every once in a while getting together with juniors Reid Shostak, Joel Bennett and senior Tayler Carrier to throw passes and work on routes. The trio — along with juniors Kyle Armstrong and Anthony Brunelle — have been Caron’s favorite targets this season.

“They’ve made plays and gotten my confidence up,” Caron said. “I keep throwing them the ball and they keep making plays.”

If the first half of the season is any indication, there is little reason to believe that will change.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley