SACO — The Lobster Bowl is the biggest stage in Maine high school football, so the biggest stars from the biggest schools usually shine.

Players from big football powers such as Class A juggernaut Thornton Academy (West MVP Anthony Bracamonte) and Class B champion Marshwood (West QB Tommy Springer) played major roles and will get most of the headlines in the West’s record-breaking 60-14 win over the East at the 30th Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl on Saturday at Hill Stadium.

But it was the contributions from the smaller schools, Class C schools such as Gray-New Gloucester and Class D schools such as Mountain Valley, Oak Hill and Poland that helped the West’s offense set a new record for points in a game and the West defense to stymie and frustrate the East offense on a sauna-like Saturday.

First, Gray-New Gloucester’s Connor Myatt and Oak Hill’s Caleb Treadwell were key spark plugs for the offense. Treadwell caught a 33-yard TD pass from Springer over the middle for the West’s second score less than four minutes into the game. Myatt had a big 46-yard catch on a pass from Biddeford’s Carter Edgerton, and another 9-yard reception, on the West’s third and final TD drive of the first quarter as it built a 21-0 lead.

Treadwell, a wide receiver, said his catch was the product of a hard work of practice to build a connection with Springer and learn the West’s fairly complicated play book, which was drawn up by another Class D representative, Poland coach and West offensive coordinator Spencer Emerson.

“It was a great pass from Tommy Springer,” he said. “It was a lot of hard work just trying to get ahold of the concepts that (Emerson) was teaching us all week long. It started up as a couple of plays, and then he ended up giving us some wrist bands and giving us a whole lot of stuff.”

“The free safety moved over to cover Anthony Bracamonte and I was coming right up the middle,” Treadwell added. “I saw it in and it was a great pass and a great catch. It feels really good and I’m grateful to end my career here.”

Myatt also lined up at wide receiver and ended his career with a win after having to grind through a winless season as a senior with Gray-New Gloucester. He also ended it at an unfamiliar position after playing quarterback for the Patriots.

“It feels amazing. I wouldn’t rather do it with anyone else,” said Myatt, who also had another reception to move the chains on a later scoring drive. “It’s been a lot of work, a lot of down time, a lot of hydration, but it’s been worth it.”

“It was an amazing pass by Carter,” said Myatt, who will continue playing football at Maine Maritime. “I didn’t have to slow down. He just put it right in there. We’d worked a lot on that and we developed good chemistry.”

Helping the defensive effort were Mountain Valley’s Jacob Blanchard, who intercepted a pass that led to another West touchdown and also forced and recovered a fumble late in the game.

“All week, our coaches talked to us and said, ‘People like to see points, but …'” said Blanchard, who is enrolling at Central Maine Community College and will play basketball. “I think great defense is fun to watch, too.”

Blanchard was part of a secondary that kept the East’s big passing plays to a minimum. They did that with the help of a West pass rush that included Poland’s Tyler Tucci, who played linebacker his senior year but stepped in at nose tackle when a West teammate went down with a concussion during the week.

“I had a sack, which was pretty cool. I’ve never played D-line,” Tucci said. “I used my speed trying to beat the linemen. It was hot, so I thought if I could get off quick, I could beat a lot of guys.”

The players admitted it can be a little intimidating playing with peers from much bigger schools and more celebrated programs when they start their Lobster Bowl experience, but when the week is over, they usually prove that they belonged.

“At first, it’s intimidating, but you just see how friendly the guys are,” said Tucci, who is also going to CMCC. “Everyone’s excited to be here. We’re playing for something bigger than us.”

“Personally, I had a little chip on my shoulder,” said Treadwell, who is headed to Southern Maine Community College. “Coming into the week, I knew that since I was from Class D I’d have to try a little bit harder and run my routes a little bit harder to get some more playing time. All of the wide receivers were just a great group of guys.”

West head coach Bill County said Lobster Bowl coaches count on the players from the small school playing with a chip on their shoulder to amp up the competitive level at practice and on game day.

“Our entire secondary was underclass kids. There wasn’t a Class A kid in the secondary,” County said. “You look for those kids when they come in: Are they confident? Do they walk with a little bit of a swagger? I think those Class D kids were, like, ‘All right, this is a challenge. I’m going to show them I can play the game.”


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