BIDDEFORD — Cody Goddard was running out of options and out of time.

With the 20th Annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic hanging in the balance on fourth-and-goal, the East quarterback from Edward Little rolled right from the West 8-yard-line to avoid the rush, checked down to his third receiver, then threw high into heavy traffic in the end zone.

The ball initially seemed headed for a couple of blue West jerseys, but fortunately for Goddard, Lewiston’s Wesley Myers and Bangor’s Tyler Pembroke were lying in the proverbial weeds to keep it alive. Both got a hand on the ball and tipped it back to Sean Daigle, Goddard’s EL teammate, and the 6-foot-3 tight end brought his hands together above his head, as if looking to the sky in prayer, to grasp the ball in his fingers.

The touchdown tied the game, and Winslow’s Scott Siviski nailed the
game-winning extra point with 36 seconds left to give the East a
thrilling 17-16 comeback win Saturday at Waterhouse Field.

“I was over in the corner and I saw it was going up high, so I just sprinted over hoping that it would bobble up and it did and I just jumped up and grabbed it,” Daigle said. “Pembroke went up high for it and (Lewiston’s) Wes Myers tipped it up, too, and I got it.”

“My first option was Wesley,” Goddard said. “He wasn’t there, so I was
looking at (Chase Huckstein of John Bapst) and he wasn’t there. So I
saw Pembroke in the back of the end zone, threw it up, and of course,
Sean Daigle was there to catch it.”

The West still leads the all-time series, 15-5,  but it would have celebrated a sweet 16th win if not for Goddard, who led the East from a 10-0 halftime deficit by completing nine of 12 pass attempts for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

“It’s the best thing I could ask for,” Goddard said. “Playing with two of the best players on my team (Daigle and EL nose tackle Grady Burns) and the best players in Maine. It was just a great atmosphere, a great feeling and a great way to end it.”

The East comeback spoiled a remarkable performance by Fitzpatrick Trophy winner Nate Doehler, who was named the West MVP after rushing for a game-high 183 yards on 19 carries, throwing for another 43 yards and scoring all of the West’s points on two rushing touchdowns and a field goal.

But it was Doehler’s missed extra point after his four-yard TD run made it 16-10 with 6:24 remaining that opened the door for the East. The West also shot itself in the foot by committing a couple of key penalties on the East winning drive and by giving up a 41-yard pass from Goddard to Myers on a pivotal 3rd-and-27 play.

Doehler put the West up quickly with a spectacular 71-yard TD run on the game’s first play, but outside of a 25-yard run by Mountain Valley’s Justin Staires (eight carries, 54 yards), the West could get little else going in the first half. Even when they recovered a punt that hit the back of an East player’s leg at the East 25 late in the first quarter, the West couldn’t take advantage.

The East had the more frustrating half, though, journeying into West territory three times only to be stifled twice inside the 25. To make matters worse, they watched Doehler gain 14 yards and a first down on the West’s final drive of the half that set up Doehler’s 32-yard field goal that sent the East into halftime down 10-0.

“We made a couple of mistakes in the first half down deep to shoot ourselves in the foot,” said East head coach Dan O’Connell of John Bapst. “I think we realized when we went into the locker room that other than that one big play by Doehler on the first play of the game, we had held them at bay. We knew we could do that defensively, and we just needed to convince the offense that if they stayed at it, they’d be successful.”

“We all went into halftime thinking it wasn’t a very good cushion,”
said Fryeburg QB Preston Jones of the West. “They came out, I think, a
little bit more intense than we did in the second half and we lost a close one.”

The East squandered another foray into West territory to start the second half, but then took advantage of good field position (own 41) to start its second possession.

Unable to get anything going on the ground, the East turned to Goddard, who after going 0-for-4 with an interception in the first half found a rhythm in the pocket. He completed three straight passes to march the East down to the West 27. On third down, he threw left to Skowhegan’s Billy Clark, who dodged two tacklers at the 15 and scampered to the end zone to finally get the East on the board.

“The first half, I was throwing off my back foot a lot, so I was kind of sailing it,” Goddard said. “The second half was great. I was set up how I like to throw the ball.”

Derek Smith of John Bapst picked up where Goddard left off on the East’s next drive, completing all three of his passes, including a 22-yarder to Myers (three catches, 66 yards) to lead the East to the West 15. The drive stalled from there, but Siviski connected on a 28-yard field goal to send the game into the fourth quarter with a 10-10 tie.

Chase Huckstein of John Bapst was named the MVP for the East… Oak Hill’s Drew Jannelle was one of the East’s defensive leaders, making five tackles and sack… Staires picked up the John R. Scmidlin Trophy, recognized as the most outstanding football player in Class B… Caitlin Bazinet, a classmate of West players Kevin Hart and Jake Steele of Winthrop, took part in the coin toss ceremony. Bazinet suffered severe burns in a December car crash and underwent treatment in the Shriners Burn Institute in Boston… A number of local cheerleaders also participated in the Lobster
Bowl — Kiani Camire and Jane Campbell (Lewiston), Alexis Kennedy
(Oxford Hills), Kirsten Larriette (Edward Little), Sabrina Storer and
Danielle St. Germain (Mt. Blue), Vanessa Blouin, Brianna Myles and
Cassandra Veilleux (Mountain Valley), Laura Longley (Lisbon), and Megan
Wolf (Jay).

Edward Little High School’s Grady Burns puts pressure on quarterback Nate Doehler of Bonny Eagle during the first half of the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl in Biddeford on Saturday. Burns is defensive lineman for the East squad.

Matt Hyland of Poland Regional High School watches the ball as it sails over his head during the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl in Biddeford on Saturday. Hyland is a tight end for the West squad.

Edward Little High School quarterback Cody Goddard steps out of the pocket during the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl in Biddeford on Saturday.

Lewiston High School’s Wesley Myers, right, stops Winthrop High School’s Jake Steele on a punt return during the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl in Biddeford on Saturday.

Doug Nash, right, of Leavitt Area High School, congratulates Lewiston High School Wesley Myers after Myers made a good play on a punt return on Saturday.

Bucksport High School’s CJ Breidt blocks for Lewiston High School running back Wesley Myers during the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl in Biddeford on Saturday.

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