LEWISTON — Lewiston was without its starting quarterback Friday night.
The Blue Devils leaned on their running game, which rumbled to 368 yards on the ground in a 40-7 victory over Bangor in a Class A North football matchup at Garcelon Field.
Lewiston’s starting QB, Tanner Cortes, was suspended for Friday night’s game, so the Blue Devils turned to a former starter, Brock Belanger. The senior didn’t have much put on his shoulders, but he got the scoring started for the hosts anyway, turning a bad snap into a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jason Willis on the Blue Devils’ (3-1) opening possession.
“Brock’s heads up,” Lewiston coach Bruce Nicholas said. “He just made a heads-up play, and Willis played pretty smart too, and said ‘look, throw it to me, I’m wide open.’ Those things happen for you when you’re winning games.”
That was one of two passing attempts for Belanger, who completed the other one for 14 yards to Davion Jackson. Nicholas instead asked Belanger to hand the ball off, which he did 32 times.
Most of those handoffs — and there were 50 running attempts total for Lewiston — went to Garrett Poussard (14 carries, 210 yards) and Hunter Landry (eight carries, 83 yards).
“Coach kind of said there’s going to be a lot of pressure on the running backs this week because we can’t really pass the ball that much,” Poussard said.
Poussard scored on the Blue Devils’ second drive, taking the second play 62 yards for a touchdown run and a 13-0 Lewiston lead. Landry had touchdown runs of 29 and 8 yards in the second half to put the Blue Devils up 28-0 at the half.
The second half started with Poussard receiving the opening kickoff, and he looked poised to take it all the way to end zone before having his jersey clenched near midfield, which he broke out of, before getting tackled on his cut-back attempt. He made amends by taking the ball 54 yards for another touchdown run on the very next play.
“That was nice because I thought I was going to break the kickoff. The line did a great job again on that play, Noah (Adamson) led through the hole, it was open again.”
Davion Jackson finished out the Lewiston scoring midway through the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Rams (0-4) found tough sledding all night. A Lewiston defense that was led by big plays from Sean O’Donnell and Tom Brochu held Bangor to just three first downs, including none in the second half. Alex Yakubu and Nick Canarr were held in check running the ball, with the Rams’ running attack putting up just 49 yards on 25 carries.
“Football is a game of blocking and tackling,” Bangor coach Alan Mosca said. “They’re just well-skilled and they’re a good football team.”
Quarterback Zachary Milliken kept Bangor from getting shut out, tossing a 52-yard touchdown pass to Dan Riker in the final minute of the game.
“I’m proud of our kids. Our kids didn’t quit,” Mosca said.