AUGUSTA — History has a tendency of repeating itself.

Last season the Cony High School football team needed a win to get back to .500 when it faced Lawrence at the midpoint of its season and that was the same case Friday night at Alumni Field. The Rams (2-2) held Lawrence (0-4) to just 18 yards in the first half on its way to a 25-9 Pine Tree Conference Class B victory.

“It was a very big win. I didn’t want to call it a must-win but when you really project ahead to the playoffs, you’ve got to start chalking a few up here as you get late in the season,” Cony coach B.L. Lippert said. “It’s a big one for us to get us back to .500 with four games left.”

Unfortunately for the Rams, a key win over the Bulldogs was not where the similarities stopped. Cony travels to Brewer (3-1) next Friday night for a key PTC B contest with the Witches and will do so for the second straight season without one of its best players.

Senior running back/linebacker Reid Shostak was ejected for a personal foul penalty late in the third quarter and thus will have to sit out the team’s next game. He had 21 carries for 94 yards to go along with an 11-yard reception at the time of his dismissal.

“Last year we went up there without (Tayler) Carrier, this year we’ll be going up there without Reid,” Lippert said. “It will be tough. It was going to be tough regardless of whether we had him or not but certainly without Reid that makes things a little more challenging.

“We have some young kids with an opportunity to step up in his absence and we’ll see what they can do.”

While the Rams will miss Shostak next week at Brewer, they certainly had a number of players step up Friday night.

Quarterback Taylor Heath paced Cony past the Bulldogs, completing 15-of-21 passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He also added 32 yards rushing as the Rams gained 205 yards on the ground for the contest.

Joel Bennett had 78 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 attempts to go along with three catches for 40 yards and a touchdown. Benaiah Willhoite paced a swarming Cony defense with three sacks and Anthony Brunelle added a pair of interceptions.

“Most of it was just around (Seth) Powers, getting to his side, watching film obviously and checking to see what they do,” Brunelle said of the defense. “This (win) was huge because we started off 1-2, it was homecoming and (it was against) Lawrence.”

Lawrence was limited to just 16 yards on the ground for the game and 117 total, the bulk of which came on a 65-yard catch and run from J.T. Nutting that set up a 1-yard touchdown pass from Braden Ballard to Mitchell Cushing with 5:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“It’s a process that we’re trying to work through and see if we can’t be able to hang our hat on something,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “We feel like the run game has to improve before we can get consistent throwing the football. When they’re teeing off on our quarterback because we’re not able to run, it makes it hard on everyone. We’re trying to get better. It’s a process.”

Cony took a 7-0 lead with 2:31 remaining in the opening quarter when Heath found Chad Bickford for an 11-yard touchdown. The Rams increased their advantage to 13-0 just 1:51 into the second quarter on a 28-yard strike from Heath to Bennett.

Cony continued to pour on the pressure to start the second half as Brunelle capped off a 14-play, 75-yard scoring drive to open the half with a 4-yard reception from Heath to put the Rams up 19-0.

Lawrence finally got on the board with a safety with 1:47 to play in the third quarter. It then threatened to score on the ensuing drive but a pass intended for Powers was just out of the senior’s reach and picked off by Brunelle in the end zone.

Cony made the Bulldogs pay on the ensuing possession, mounting a 13-play, 80-yard drive — without Shostak — that Bennett capped off with a 4-yard touchdown plunge. The two-point conversion failed, but the Rams had still more or less put the game away with a commanding 25-2 lead with just 6:21 to play in the contest.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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