Brunswick avenges loss, to play for state title

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Brunswick’s football team is heading back to the Class B Final and got a taste of revenge in the process.

Last Friday evening, the top-ranked Dragons hosted No. 3 Brewer, the only team to blemish their record this fall, and had no trouble winning a second straight regional championship.

Brunswick, which went 7-1 in the regular season, earned the top seed in Class B North and after a quarterfinal round bye, blanked No. 4 Mt. Blue in the semifinals, 40-0.

That allowed the Dragons to host the Witches, who came to Brunswick Oct. 9 and prevailed, 34-27.

This time around, things were dramatically different.

Four of Brunswick quarterback Thomas Hanson’s six first-half completions went for touchdowns, two apiece to Corban Teel and Jackson Gordon.

In the absence of senior standout Will Bessey, who departed with a hamstring injury after eight carries, Jesse Devereaux rushed for 178 yards, including an 83-yard touchdown, and Hunter Garrett racked up 159 all-purpose yards. 

The Dragons won everything but the coin flip and dominated from the initial three-and-out. 

Brunswick led 21-0 after the first quarter and 42-0 at the half. The Dragons owned an advantage of 506 of 63 in total yards

“We were lights-out on defense and the passing game was on,” Brunswick coach Dan Cooper said. 

Jaznel Burns ran for a first down out of a rugby punt formation to extend the Dragons’ opening drive, culminating in a 17-yard Will Bessey touchdown run. Alex Larson booted the first of his seven extra points.

Garrett’s 45-yard punt return set up the first of consecutive touchdowns from Hanson to Teel, a 24-yard connection in the right flat with nary a defender in sight.

“The line blocked all night and gave Tom time,” Teel said. “I thought we were just going to pound it with Bessey all night, but Tom decided to air it out a few times, and it was awesome.”

Hanson then found Teel with arms extended and no resistance in nearly the same spot, this time from 34 yards.

On the Dragons’ next series, after Brewer held Bessey to a one-yard gain, Devereaux ripped through a cavern off left tackle. He was untouched all the way to the Brewer 10, where he threw a Witches’ tackler off his back to finish the job.

“Jesse does a great job and he obviously should be getting a lot more carries,” Hanson said. “With the guys we have in front of him, it’s hard for him, but he can make plays for sure.”

Hanson (6-for-7, 128 yards) found Gordon on fade patterns for scores of 8 and 17 yards. The second touchdown capped a march of 87 yards that took only 90 seconds, thanks largely to runs of 30 by Devereaux and 29 by Garrett.

“We’ve been working on those all week. It worked against Mt. Blue, so we kept going at it,” Gordon said, of his TDs. “It was well executed tonight on both sides of the ball. We had a great week of practice, staying late and getting there early. It’s a great win for us.”

Helped slightly by running time, Brunswick used the entire third quarter to score again. Zach Larrabee’s 2-yard plunge capped a 16-play, 90-yard journey.

The Dragons took knees with two minutes remaining to avoid scoring again.

“We came in obviously wanting revenge for that one loss,” Hanson said. “We wanted to be at our best toward the end of the season and I think we’re getting there. You just have to enjoy it. It’s awesome.”

“Our underclassmen did not play well the last time we played Brewer,” Cooper said. “The seniors kind of lugged us that night. We worked double time to get our underclassmen better and they carried us tonight.”

Saturday at 6 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, the Dragons will meet Marshwood (9-2) in the Class B state final and will look to avenge last year’s 44-18 loss on the big stage.

Sun Journal staff writer Kalle Oakes contributed to this story.

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Brunswick’s Jackson Gordon makes a touchdown reception during the Dragons’ 49-0 win over Brewer in Friday’s Class B North Final.

Brunswick’s football team celebrates following Friday’s win. The Dragons battle defending state champion Marshwood in the state final Saturday evening in the Class B Final.