December 2, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Cony QB Lucas a Fitzpatrick Trophy semifinalist

Senior calls distinction “special”

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — Ben Lucas made history on the football field this season, setting the state record for touchdowns in a career with 89.

Original: Cony quarterback Ben Lucas Published: No Published Caption

Now, the senior quarterback hopes to make history again by becoming the first Cony player to win the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, which is given annually to the top senior football player in the state.

Lucas was named one of 12 semifinalists Monday.

“Absolutely, it would mean a lot,” he said. “It would be a direct reflection of the season we had. It would be an honor.”

Lucas led Cony to the Class B state championship. The 6-foot-4, 227-pound Lucas was dominant all season. He threw 41 touchdowns and more than 3,500 yards. He’s thrown for 7,700 yards in his career, good for second all time behind former Winthrop standout Lee St. Hilaire, who won the award in 2001.

The list of 12 semifinalists will be trimmed to three finalists by the end of the year. The 43rd recipient of the trophy will be announced at a Jan. 19 banquet at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland.

The other semifinalists include: Portland running back/linebacker Justin Zukowski; Mount Desert Island running back /safety Teagan Candage; Biddeford running back/safety Corey Creeger; Kennebunk running back/linebacker Nicco DeLorenzo; Scarborough quarterback/safety Ben Greenberg; Westbrook quarterback/defensive back Corey Heath; Thornton tight end/defensive end Cody Lynn; Leavitt center/linebacker Levi Morin; Cheverus fullback/linebacker Cody O’Brien; South Portland quarterback/linebacker Duncan Preston; and Sanford tackle Jedidiah Scott.

All head coaches and some members of the media who regularly cover football receive a vote.

“Ben had as good a season as any quarterback in the history of the state,” Cony coach Robby Vachon said.

The question, of course, is can Lucas win the Fitzpatrick Trophy, which in recent years has often gone to a player representing a team from the West? Only four players from the East have won the award in the last 15 years.

Lucas turned in a spectacular performance in the Class B state game against Kennebunk. He threw for 347 yards — 307 coming in the second half — and three touchdowns in a 30-23 victory. His 25-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Saban with a minute remaining capped a wild Cony comeback. The performance likely earned him some additional votes.

Bonny Eagle coach Kevin Cooper said after his Scots beat Cheverus in the Class A state title game that he’d likely vote for Lucas.

“He’s had a pretty deserving year,” Cooper said. “I watched the game with (Kennebunk) and he was spectacular. It’s tough to argue against what he’s done.”

Lucas will try to become the second consecutive Fitzpatrick Trophy finalist for Cony — wide receiver/defensive back Chandler Shostak earned that distinction last season.

“I got a taste of the process last year with Chandler,” Lucas said. “I’m good friends with him so I saw how he handled everything. Seeing him at the banquet and just how cool everything was, I knew I wanted to be in that situation, too. There are not a lot of kids who get in this position.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640bstewart@centralmaine.comTwitter: @billstewartkj
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