Max Clark’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Howard with 49.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter Friday night lifted Bangor to a stunning 37-30 Class A football victory over perennial powerhouse Bonny Eagle of Standish at Cameron Stadium.
The Senior Night win improves coach Dave Morris’ club to 7-1 on the season heading into its regular-season finale at 6-1 Oxford Hills of South Paris next weekend, and it should earn the Rams a first-round playoff game on their new artificial-turf home field in two weeks.
Bonny Eagle dips to 4-3.
Bangor, which tied the game at 30-30 on an 11-yard scoring pass from Clark to tight end Colton Emerson with 10:45 left in the game, drove 72 yards on its next possession only to be held short on a fourth-and-1 play from the Bonny Eagle 13 with 2:52 remaining.
The visiting Scots quickly advanced the ball near midfield, but two holding penalties during the drive set Bonny Eagle back and Bangor’s defense finally rose up to force a fumble that the Rams recovered at the BE 35 with 1:26 remaining.
Howard got inside position against his defender to catch a 29-yard pass from Clark on the next play, and one play later Clark rolled right and connected with Howard on a 5-yard scoring pass in the right front of the end zone.
Parker Richmond added the extra-point kick, and while Bonny Eagle moved into Bangor territory in the final seconds the Rams’ defense prevailed with a game-ending sack.
Clark, one of 26 football-playing Bangor seniors honored before the game, completed 18 of 29 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second half after Bonny Eagle had rallied for a 22-16 halftime advantage.
Emerson had two touchdown receptions and Cabryn Streams rushed for 65 yards on 14 carries while Howard also returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown for the third time this season to help stake Bangor to an early 14-0 lead.
Howard caught the kickoff in the middle of the field at the Bangor 15, went left and found a seam down the sideline, and aided by a Cabryn Streams block at the 35 raced untouched 85 yards to the end zone. Richmond’s extra-point kick made it 7-0 just 13 seconds into the contest.
Bangor’s defense forced a three-and-out from Bonny Eagle and got the ball back at its 39-yard line, setting up a nine-play, 61-yard march that began with completions of 25 and 19 yards to Streams and Emerson, respectively, and concluded with a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Clark to extend the Rams’ lead to two touchdowns with still 6:41 left in the opening quarter.
Bonny Eagle turned to its ground game and drove 72 yards in seven plays to get on the scoreboard on a 2-yard run by Zac Oja with 3:52 left in the opening period, with Kyle Blaney adding the extra-point kick.
The Scots’ Owen Sperry deflected a Bangor punt on the Rams’ next possession, setting his team up at the Bangor 32. Seven plays later, Aidan Walcott — the reigning Class A state champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes — sprinted wide right for the final 20 yards to the end zone for the tying touchdown on the opening play of the second quarter.
Bangor regained a 16-14 lead midway through the period thanks to another special-teams play, this time, as Bonny Eagle punter Dom Gordon was tackled in the end zone for a safety by Yedi Moneke and Brayden Caron.
Bangor then got the ball back after Bonny Eagle’s free kick but was soon forced to punt again, and this time Walcott blocked the kick and Blaney returned the recovery 17 yards to the Bangor 17.
Nik Klein did the rest with a first-down run of 9 yards followed by a 7-yard keeper to the end zone to give the Scots their first lead of the night. Klein’s two-point conversion run made it 22-16 with 4:32 left, and Bonny Eagle took that advantage into intermission.
The teams then traded third-quarter touchdowns, with Clark passing 13 yards to Emerson to give Bangor a 23-22 lead with 5:11 left in the period and Klein answering with a 1-yard run and two-point conversion run to restore Bonny Eagle to a 30-23 advantage with 1:33 remaining in the quarter.
Bonny Eagle gained 266 of its 318 total yards on the ground, as Klein rushed for 106 yards on 13 attempts, Terrell Edwards gained 76 yards on 15 tries and Oja added 74 yards on 10 carries.