GARDINER — A week of sadness ended in triumph for the Skowhegan Indians.

Playing their first game since the drowning death of senior teammate Scott Brown last weekend, the Indians honored Brown by bringing his No. 11 jersey to midfield Friday night during the pregame coin toss, then defeated the Gardiner Tigers 47-6 behind four touchdown passes from junior quarterback Garrett McSweeney.

“It was tough for us, but we’re a family and we got through it together,” McSweeney said. “We played for Scott.”

Gardiner also held a moment of silence at Hoch Field in memory of Brown and the anniversary of 9/11.

“It just seems like it’s been going forever. It’s been a real long week,” Skowhegan coach Matthew Friedman said. “Between (Brown’s death) and the heat, it took a lot out of us this week.”

McSweeney completed 10 of 19 passes for 158 yards and also threw an interception in three quarters of play. The touchdowns were to four different receivers — Jon Bell, Sam Baker, Kameron Doucette and Spencer Salley.

Bell also had a punt return for a touchdown. Luke Bolster and Mike Berry rushed for the other Skowhegan (2-0) touchdowns.

Josh Farrin scored the lone touchdown for the Tigers (0-2) and rushed for 38 yards.

The Indians forced Gardiner to punt after three plays in the game’s opening drive, then converted twice on fourth down to take the lead on McSweeney’s 14-yard pass to Bell on 4th-and-2.

“That was a great play by him,” McSweeney said. “I was comfortable. The line did a great job blocking, made a good pocket for me. I had to move around a couple of times, but they did a great job of giving me some time.”

Gardiner answered on its next possession, converting on 4th-and-1 from Skowhegan’s four when Eli Kropp gained three yards on a QB sneak. Farrin punched it in from the one. A bad snap on the extra point attempt kept the Indians in front.

Patrick Pelletier’s interception got the Tigers the ball back at their own 22, but the offense went three-and-out and Bell, whose punt returns gave the Indians good field position throughout the first half, returned the punt 30 yards to the Tiger 27.

Two plays later, McSweeney found a wide-open Salley over the middle for a 24-yard score and a 13-6 lead.

“Our secondary is young, and tonight we made a couple of plays,” Gardiner coach Joe White said. “I thought we played better defense tonight than we did last week. All excuses aside, we were plagued by the flu here all week. I had half of the starters out most of the week. But Skowhegan had to go through the same heat and the unfortunate loss of a teammate.”

Bolster’s 6-yard TD run made it 20-6 going into halftime.

The Indians piled on in the third quarter as McSweeney connected with Baker for a 34-yard touchdown and Doucette for a 28-yard score and Bell returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown.

“I saw my teammates get some great blocks, so I followed them down the field. I saw a lane and I just took it,” Bell said.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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