2015-07-24 / Front Page

Bowl: West is the best

By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer


Hayden Owen, a slot receiver from South Portland High School, gets some encouragement from Wells High School running back Chris Carney before the annual Lobster Bowl Classic last weekend in Biddeford. Owen scored a touchdown for the West, which cruised to a 45-21 victory. Owen is going to the University of Maine at Orono in the fall to play football and study engineering. (Michael Kelley photo) Hayden Owen, a slot receiver from South Portland High School, gets some encouragement from Wells High School running back Chris Carney before the annual Lobster Bowl Classic last weekend in Biddeford. Owen scored a touchdown for the West, which cruised to a 45-21 victory. Owen is going to the University of Maine at Orono in the fall to play football and study engineering. (Michael Kelley photo) BIDDEFORD — Football players from across the state came together last weekend when Waterhouse Field played host to the 26th annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic. The event, which has been held in Biddeford since 1993, showcases some of the top football players in the state while raising money for the 22 hospitals and burn centers the National Kora Shriners organization operates across the United States and Mexico.

The game, held Saturday, July 18, was won by the West 45-21. It was the West’s 18th victory and first since 2012. It was the fourth-highest scoring Lobster Bowl Classic since the tradition began in 1990.

Hayden Owen, a slot receiver from South Portland, said the West, which included players from as far north as Mount Valley High School in Rumford to as far south as York High School, was able to pull out the 24-point victory by coming together during the week-long training camp at Foxcroft Academy and putting past rivalries behind them.

“You come in here and play with these guys who were your enemies before, but over the course of (training camp), they become your best friends,” said Owen, who will go to the University of Maine at Orono in the fall to play football and study either chemical or mechanical engineering.

“Your success is much more through team play then individual play,” added Owen, who scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Thornton Academy offensive lineman and defensive tackle D’Andre Morgan didn’t let the hype of the game get to him.

“To me it was no different than playing in the regular season. Everyone was from different teams, but we melded together, came together as a team like any other team would,” Morgan said.

Morgan was one of three football players from Thornton Academy, which won the Class A title in the fall, to participate in the game.

“It’s always a treat to play alongside your own teammates. It doesn’t matter if you are on the field or off it, they are going to have your back and be your brothers,” said Morgan, who is going to play football and study criminal justice at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont.

Morgan said he would like to return to the Biddeford-Saco area as a police officer.

Jimmy Remmes, a defensive end and fullback from Thornton Academy, said he was honored to be able to take part in the yearly football tradition.

“It is a great cause. We raised almost $90,000 for Shriners,” Remmes said.

While there were a several familiar faces on the West squad, including those from Noble, Scarborough, Sanford, Bonny Eagle and Biddeford, which Thornton Academy played in the regular season, there were also a number of players Remmes had never played with or against before, since the squad also had players from Class B, Class C and Class D.

“We came together as a team and realized we are all kids who have the same interest — football,” said Remmes, who will play football in the fall at Bridgton Academy, a college-preparatory school in North Bridgton. Remmes said he hopes to attend a college in New England after his post-graduate year.

The West got the scoring off with

12:00 to go in the first quarter when quarterback Noah Nelson (Falmouth) connected with Matt Vigue (Spruce Mountain) on a 71-yard touchdown pass. The West scored again as Gabe Seeley (Leavitt) made a diving one-handed catch on a pass from Nelson with seconds to go in the half. Seeley and Nelson would connect again on a 9-yard touchdown pass at the close of the first half to give the West a 26-7 lead going into halftime.

The West scored first in the second half when Brett Gerry (Marshwood) scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. The East brought the score to 32-13 after Steven Davis (Belfast Area) found the end zone on a 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mitchell Caron (Cony) with 37 seconds to go in the third quarter. That was as close as the East would get.

The fourth quarter began with another West touchdown with 14:29 in the game as quarterback Zach Dubiel (Bonny Eagle) pounded the ball into the end zone on a 2-yard run. At halftime Dubiel was named the Class A John R. Schmidlin Award winner, an honor given to the “most outstanding senior football player in each class.” The award is named for a longtime football coach at Gardiner High School, and recognizes students for their play on the field, as well as good sportsmanship, team play, loyalty and reliability. The West extended its lead to 45-13 — the largest of the game — when Owen scored on a 33-yard pass from Nelson. Nelson, who passed for four touchdowns, was named the West squad’s MVP after the game. It was too little, too late for the East when, with 4:10 to go in the game, quarterback Matt Stewart (Bucksport) connected with Cony’s Taylor Carrier, the East’s MVP, for the tandem’s second touchdown of the day.

The East wasn’t able to put any more points on the board, sealing a West victory.

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