DOVER-FOXCROFT — If it wasn’t an ankle injury, it was a hamstring injury. If not a pulled hamstring, a strained neck. And if all the bones and tendons were working properly, muscle cramps carried out their debilitating effects.

That was Quintarian Brown’s football career at Lewiston High School in one painful paragraph. Or, if you prefer a more succinct summary: Life isn’t fair.

After emerging as the most explosive kick return specialist in the state his sophomore year, Brown scared the daylights out of opposing coaches as a junior and senior. Entire game plans were focused on stopping him at the expense of just about everything else.

More often than not, the sweaty palms and sleepless nights were wasted energy, because Brown stood out of harm’s way on the sideline.

That unanimous respect manifested itself in a well-deserved invitation to play for the East in Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl XXVI, despite his incomplete numbers.

“I was more shocked than anything, because I went a whole year pretty much without playing,” Brown said. “If I didn’t get in, I would understand. I was just really thankful when I heard. I’m excited to be here and ready for this game.”

Brown is joined by longtime friend and teammate Ace Curry for the senior all-star showcase, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford.

Both were utility men throughout their Blue Devils career for Bill County, playing tailback, wide receiver or even quarterback as conditions dictated. They’ll line up at split end along with Hunter Martin of Edward Little in the annual benefit for Shrine children’s hospitals.

“I’m really happy for Q,” County, an assistant coach for the East who retired from the Lewiston sideline at the end of his 16th season. “He didn’t really get the opportunity to show the kind of player he is.”

Brown left the second game of his junior season at Cheverus on a stretcher and had to be helped off the field in his senior opener at Oxford Hills, as well.

Both years the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Brown recovered sufficiently enough to contribute at the end of the season.

“He always could play against the Eddies, though,” County said with a smile and a fist pump. “That was nice.”

Brown rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-26 victory over EL in 2013. He amassed 116 more and caught the two-point conversion that sent County out a winner, 20-19, this past October.

That was Lewiston’s lone win of the season. Lobster Bowl week, therefore, has been like preparing for the championship game Brown never had the chance to enjoy.

“It’s been great,” Brown said. “It’s a good opportunity to be able to play again, because I missed a lot of games last season. It feels great to be back on the field with a bunch of guys who are dedicated as our team was.”

The aches and pains and lost time were brutal for Brown, of course, but don’t underestimate their effect on Curry.

Always a big-play threat, Curry never settled into the comfort zone of a specific position, since he moved around to compensate for Brown’s absence. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Curry also became a marked man, because opponents knew he was likely to get the ball.

“It wasn’t tough, but it was different,” Curry said. “It put the load on me. Our big star was out, so the next one had to step up, which was me and Stone (Colby) and Eddie (Emerson) our junior year and pretty much myself our senior year.”

Suddenly the Devils’ duo finds itself on an East roster with the usual surplus of stars.

Brown and Curry can concentrate on running routes and catching passes from Mitchell Caron of Cony, Matt Stewart of Bucksport and Bobby Chenard of Winslow.

“You just focus on your job and get it done, because everyone else will do everything they have to do,” Curry said.

Brown doesn’t engage in much self-pity or wondering what might have been.

When he reflects upon the deeper meaning of Saturday’s game, he comes up with even fewer reasons to complain.

“It’s a good opportunity to come out here and play a sport we love for a good cause,” Brown said. “To be able to make a difference in younger kids’ lives that have challenges they have to face that are higher than going to college to play football.”

Players reported to Foxcroft Academy on Sunday for six days of triple practice sessions to prepare for the game.

“Every day is football, eat, football, eat. It makes you more thankful than anything,” Curry said. “It’s a good thing. It’s a great program. We’re just going to go out there and try our best for kids who can’t.”

Football isn’t over for at least one of the ex-Devils.

Brown intends to play at Husson University. Curry may follow him but is waiting to hear about his possible acceptance into a military reserve program.

“We’re brothers out there,” Curry said. “I’m used to Q. We know each other. We’re the same position, too, so we help each other out.”

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