The West squad turned Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway’s spread offense into a fun-and-gun Saturday night and dominated Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic XXVI, 45-21, before more than 4,000 fans at Waterhouse Field.

It was a Class A rout delivered by a heavy rotation of Class B, C and D players.

Falmouth quarterback Noah Nelson completed 14 of 27 passes for 247 yards and four touchdowns on his way to West MVP honors.

“Class C and D, especially, don’t get a lot of respect, but we proved tonight there is a lot of talent in those lower classes,” Nelson said.

Matt Vigue of Spruce Mountain scored on a 71-yard catch-and-run from Nelson and Gabe Seeley of Leavitt made a sensational, leaping, one-handed grab for a 19-yard score in the first quarter.

That staked the West to a 14-0, one that swelled to a 26-7 margin at the half.

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Seeley finished with five catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Not to be outdone, the West’s other quarterback, Zach Dubiel of Bonny Eagle, had 18 carries for 122 yards and a score.

“Coach Hathaway is a great coach,” Seeley said. “In a week, he had everybody knowing exactly where they needed to be and what they needed to do.”

The West rolled up 581 net yards and was equally stout defensively, holding the East to 53 rushing yards on 35 attempts.

With Tyler Frost of Dirigo, Joe Philbrick of Lisbon and Will Parkin of Leavitt leading the way, they sacked East quarterbacks Mitchell Caron, Matt Stewart and Bobby Chenard five times.

“It reminded me of our (East) team from 2010 that had Eric Theiss and Ronnie Turner at quarterback and just a great group of skill position guys and linemen that meshed together,” Hathaway said.

Frost’s sack after a snap over Caron’s head held the East to three-and-out on its first series.

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After two uneventful plays from scrimmage, Nelson evaded a rush, rolled right and located wide-open Vigue in the right flat.

As was the case for so many Phoenix opponents in Vigue’s career, the secondary didn’t win the foot race.

“His team beat our team sophomore year, so it was a lot more fun playing with him than against him,” Nelson, who plans to play at Bowdoin College, said of Vigue. “He’s a hell of an athlete.”

Seeley recovered from a drop on fourth down and a subsequent jarring hit from Cody Martin to make his highlight-film reception.

Vigue (11-yard catch), Chris Carney (18-yard run) and Maurice Johnson (14-yard snare) moved the chains earlier in the 80-yard march.

With time expiring in the quarter, Nelson lofted the ball toward the near left pylon, and the 6-foot-4, Husson-bound Seeley soared heavenward with his right palm.

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“The corner kind of had my left arm pinned down, so I just went up with that one,” Seeley said. “It was a perfect throw.”

Seeley added a 9-yard TD catch before halftime.

“He made at least 10 catches that were even better than that one in camp this week,” Hathaway said of the first Seeley score.

After a Philbrick sack and a Jordan Pidgeon pass break-up stopped the East’s first foray into West territory, the West responded with a 61-yard sequence in under two minutes.

Nelson hit Ben Malloy for 22 yards to convert a third-and-long and scrambled 14 more to set up a 4-yard TD rush by Oak Hill’s Alex Mace.

Stewart and Tayler Carrier of Cony put the East on the board with two minutes left in the half, hooking up from 27 yards out. Carrier took home East MVP honors with seven receptions for 91 yards and two scores.

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Back stormed the West with another game of beat-the-clock, culminating in Seeley’s second TD catch with 2.2 seconds remaining.

“It went well. Better than I expected,” Hathaway said. “I didn’t expect to get up by that much early, but it’s a big thing when you do.”

There was no let-up in a second half that began with Hayden Owen of South Portland returning the opening kickoff 68 yards.

Seeley moved the sticks with a catch, spin and sidestep on fourth-and-13 to set up first-and-goal. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick Trophy winner Brett Gerry of Marshwood was in the end zone from four yards away.

Gerry and Frost dominated the game at linebacker.

“In that spread offense, with the guards pulling, the linebackers can kind of shoot the gap,” Frost said. “That was my goal, because nobody had really done that before in this game.”

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Caron connected with Steven Davis for a 35-yard TD in the final minute of the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 32-13.

Dubiel supplied the answer with a 2-yard TD run set up by his own 43-yard jaunt, and Preston Spear’s interception stalled the East’s next series.

Owen grabbed Nelson’s final TD throw of the night, a 32-yard beauty.

Ace Curry of Lewiston had three catches for 74 yards to help the East, which had won six of the past nine Lobster Bowls.

The West now leads the series, 18-8.

koakes@sunjournal.com

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