Wednesday, March 12, 2014
BY DAVE DYER Staff Writer
AUGUSTA -- On paper, the game between the Cony football team and Hampden Academy was set to be a shootout.
But the only gunslinging done Friday night was by Cony quarterback Ben Lucas.
Lucas was 23 of 32 for 276 yards, throwing five touchdowns and an interception, leading Cony to a 42-0 win over the Broncos at Alumni Field.
The Rams now have a record of 5-1, and with Messalonskee's 21-14 overtime win over Brunswick, Cony stands atop the Pine Tree Conference Class B standings with the Dragons, who are also 5-1.
"Right now, it feels really good because I know we're going to get into the playoffs," Cony head coach Robby Vachon said. "That's a plus. We're going to wash our hands of this and get ready for Greely. Every week we've played a tough team, I see no difference next week."
A big part of Lucas' air assault was wide receiver Tayler Carrier. Hobbled by an ankle injury in recent weeks, Carrier looked to be at full strength. He caught eight passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns, including a 40-yard pass reception on a nice fade route that set up a Charlie Hallak 9-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
"It's good to have him back at full health," Lucas said. "He's one of the top receivers in the state. You can pretty much throw anything in his direction and he's coming down with it. He's so explosive, too. He was practicing light this week, but I knew he was full strength coming into it."
Lucas also connected on two touchdown passes with wide receiver Jonathan Saban, once on a 16-yard pass off a wheel route in the first quarter, the other on a 24-yard screen play in the third quarter.
Lucas' first touchdown pass of the game came on Cony's second drive, when he connected on a 5-yard screen pass to running back Reid Shostak.
Lucas, a senior, has now thrown for 1,860 yards and 23 touchdowns this season.
Not to be outdone, the Rams' defense had an impressive showing, allowing 186 yards to Hampden (4-2). Cony forced four turnovers out of the Broncos, two on fumbles and two on interceptions by Shostak and Hallak.
"We've had a pretty solid scheme for the last two weeks, seeing teams that have a similar style offense to us," Vachon said. "I thought we did a great job with man-to-man coverage. We did what we wanted to do, forced (Broncos quarterback Matt) Martin into some bad throws. I don't think he felt comfortable all night."
The Rams made the evening a nightmare for Martin. Entering the game with 984 yards passing and 17 touchdowns, Martin was 7 of 17 through the air for 58 yards and two interceptions.
"I knew our defense was going to play well," Lucas said. "They've taken a lot of crap all year. Our guys know, deep down, we're a good defensive team. We just hadn't shown it. We came out and showed we're very good defensively."
Dave Dyer -- 621-5639