BANGOR – The Bangor football team ended its regular season on an explosive note Friday night, using the big play to overwhelm winless Oxford Hills of South Paris 45-21 in a Pine Tree Conference Class A matchup at Cameron Stadium.
And no one was bigger than one of the smaller players in the Bangor lineup, 5-foot-10, 160-pound senior Tom Crews.
The Rams’ co-captain ran back two interceptions for touchdowns, one a 79-yard return and the second covering 65 yards. He also made a touchdown-saving tackle and caught a 13-yard scoring pass from quarterback Ian Edwards.
Every football player should have such a Homecoming weekend.
“It feels amazing,” said Crews. “It’s the best Homecoming you could have as a senior. It just feels so good to get a victory.”
The victory assures 7-1 Bangor a home game for its PTC A semifinal next weekend, while Oxford Hills finished 0-8.
“We’re definitely ready for the playoffs,” said Crews. “Ever since last week when we had that game [a 34-0 victory at Mt. Blue of Farmington] in the poor weather, we just came together as a team and went out and had fun. These last couple of weeks, we’ve been bonding real well.”
Crews wasn’t the only playmaker in Bangor’s regular-season finale. Shane Walton rushed for 147 yards and two scores on just eight first-half carries, including an 86-yard sprint after the Bangor defense had stopped Oxford Hills three times from the 1-yard line.
And defensive end Sean Flynn had 11/2 of Bangor’s four first-half sacks of Oxford Hills QB Justin Frechette, one in the end zone for a safety to give Bangor a 2-0 lead.
Crews returned the ensuing free kick 24 yards to the Vikings 37, and a personal foul against Oxford Hills gave Bangor a first down at the 22.
Walton scored on the next play, using an Adam Kearns block to spring for a 22-yard TD run. Kyle Vanidestine added the extra-point kick, and Bangor had a 9-0 lead with 2:10 left in the first period.
Oxford Hills drove to a first down at the Bangor 3 after recovering a fumble early in the second quarter, but the Rams defense then stopped the Vikings on three straight plays from the 1 to end the threat.
Walton then gave Bangor immediate breathing room with his 86-yard run on first down before he was caught from behind at the Oxford Hills 13 by Vikings defensive back Raymond Hayes.
One play later, Edwards found Crews open in the right corner of the end zone for a 13-yard TD pass that gave Bangor a 16-0 lead.
It was just the beginning for Crews.
On Oxford Hills’ next play from scrimmage, Brian Trudeau broke into the open for a 44-yard gain, but Crews stopped him just short of the end zone at the 1.
“The running back went to the outside,” said Crews, “and I kind of slipped, but I knew I had to beat him to the spot.”
That tackle saved a touchdown. Tyler McDade stopped Trudeau for no gain on first down, and Flynn and Jon Thompson sacked Frechette for a 14-yard loss on the next play.
On third down, Crews stepped in front of an attempted screen pass and returned the interception 79 yards for a touchdown and a 26-0 Bangor lead with 3:57 left in the half.
Bangor regained the ball at the Oxford Hills 35 after a punt and took just 26 seconds to score. Edwards passed to Alex Gallant and Ryan Weston for gains of 16 and 14 yards before hitting Gallant with a 5-yard scoring strike with 42.8 seconds left.
The scoring wasn’t over.
Frechette looked over the middle on first down, but overthrew his intended target. Walton intercepted the pass at the 40, and his return gave Bangor the ball at the 1 with 19 seconds left.
“I saw their tight end going up the seam, so I jumped in and picked it off,” Walton said. “I thought I could score, but they stopped me a little short.”
Walton scored on the next play to give the Rams a 38-0 lead at the break.
Crews got his second interception on Oxford Hills’ first series of the second half – again on an attempted screen pass – and returned this one 65 yards to extend the lead to 45-0.
Oxford Hills added three late touchdowns, two on runs of 18 and 2 yards by senior tailback Brian Trudeau, who rushed for a game-high 174 yards on 30 carries. Ethan Sutton added the third score, returning an interception of an Adam Sproul pass 48 yards for a touchdown.
RAMS 45, VIKINGS 21
Oxford Hills (0-8) 0 0 14 7 – 21
Bangor (7-1) 9 29 7 0 – 45
B – Safety, Frechette tackled in end zone
B – Walton 22 run (Vanidestine kick)
B – Crews 13 pass from Edwards (Vanidestine kick)
B – Crews 79 interception return (Weston pass from Edwards)
B – Gallant 5 pass from Edwards (kick failed)
B – Walton 1 run (Walton rush)
B – Crews 65 interception return (Vanidestine kick)
O – Trudeau 18 run (kick blocked)
O – Sutton 48 interception return (Sutton rush)
O – Trudeau 2 run (Sutton kick)
Oxford Hills Bangor
First downs 17 14
Rushing att.-yards 47-161 32-243
Passing comp.-att. 6-17 6-9
Passing yards 82 54
Total yards 243 297
Punts-avg. 3-33.7 2-28.0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-2
Intercepted by 1 3
Penalties-yards 3-26 5-45
Oxford Hills: Trudeau 30-174, Smith 9-42, Sutton 2-9, Frechette 6-(minus 64); Bangor: Walton 8-147, Billings 14-76, Vanidestine 5-12, Crews 1-6, S. Seccareccia 1-3, Edwards 3-(minus 1)
Oxford Hills: Frechette 6-17-3-82; Bangor: Edwards 5-7-0-58, Sproul 1-2-1-(minus 4)
Oxford Hills: Sutton 3-38, Millette 1-19, Trudeau 1-15, Cromwell 1-10; Bangor: Gallant 3-31, Weston 1-14, Crews 1-13, Francis 1-(minus 4)