Leavitt’sAllen Peabody gives Cape Elizabeth’s Matt Conley a stiff arm as he looks for extra yards during the first half of Friday night’s game against Cape Elizabeth in Turner.
TURNER — Caleb Bowen’s biggest catch of the night wasn’t his 47-yard touchdown catch-and-run to open the scoring for Leavitt, nor his 49-yard reception to set up the game-winning score.
It might have been his easiest, yet most nerve-wracking, and it didn’t even come on offense, but Bowen’s interception with 33 seconds left sealed the Hornets’ 19-14 victory over Cape Elizabeth in a Class C South football clash at Libby Field on Friday night.
“The guy who ended up running the route I was supposed to be covering ended up slipping and falling, which gave me the perfect opportunity just to capitalize and do what I can to help this team win,” Bowen said.
The Capers (4-2) were facing third-and-10 at the Leavitt 24-yard line in the final minute of the game. Andrew Hartel looked and threw in the direction of Jacob Brydson, who succumbed to the slick grass. Bowen was there for the easy pick, and would have taken it the other way for a touchdown if not for a Leavitt penalty to negate it.
The flag came after the interception, however, and the Hornets (6-0) only needed to kneel once to keep their perfect record intact.
Bowen’s interception of Hartel was the second of the fourth quarter for the Hornets defense. Allen Peabody picked off a Hartel pass in the end zone on a first-and-goal play from the 4.
“Bowen and Peabody came up with a couple of big plays in the secondary, because we needed them. We were having a hard time getting off the field on third down,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “The (QB) made some good throws, and their receivers made some good catches.”
“I just told Allen ‘he’s running the corner, I swear to God,'” Bowen said. “Ran the corner, he was right there to make a great play. He’s a ballhawk, Allen Peabody.”
Those two late interceptions soured what was otherwise a “coming-out party” for Hartel, according to Capers coach Aaron Fileo. Hartel was 10 for 22 for 302 yards and a touchdown.
“Without his ability to throw the ball, this game is a little bit more lopsided I think. He bailed us out, his receivers played well.” Fileo said. “We told him we were proud of him. He made the plays when he had to, and made the one mistake down there.”
Leavitt quarterback Tim Albert threw two interceptions in the first half to stall a pair of Hornet drives. Jack Tower picked him off with 1:12 left in the second quarter, then Brydson did as well with 29 seconds left. Albert was better in the second half, completing 4 of 5 passes, including a touchdown to Camden Jordan. He finished 13 of 23 for 285 yards and two touchdowns, and ran the ball 13 times for 51 yards and another touchdown.
“He was a a little hot-and-cold throwing, but he was nails on the read-option tonight,” Hathaway said.
The Hornets jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the game’s opening drive thanks to the 47-yard hook-up between Albert and Bowen. That score stuck until the second quarter, when Hartel found Jack Glanville for 48 yards to tie the game. Ryan Weare ran in from two yards out later in the period for a 14-7 Capers lead at halftime.
Albert ran in from 15 yards out on a read-option keeper with 9:46 remaining in the game one player after finding Bowen for 49 yards.
“I think we both knew that it was going to be a hard-fought game,” Fileo said. “And we knew that they have a good passing game, and we knew that we would have to make a few plays and tackle in space to defend it, make them earn the field. I think they just had too many big shots down the field that just tilted the field position.
“We’re just going to get better from this, without a doubt.”
Leavitt’s Caleb Bowen nearly makes an acrobatic catch during the first half of Friday night’s game against Cape Elizabeth in Turner.Leavitt’s Dasean Calder knocks the ball out of Cape Elizabeth’s Matt Laughlin to break up a pass during the first half of Friday night’s game in Turner.Cape Elizabeth’s Luis Daukas tackles Leavitt quarterback Tim Albert before he can get through the line during Friday night’s game in Turner.