SACO, Maine — The West used a little misdirection to score first in the 28th annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic.
Everything after that was straight-ahead, no-frills domination.
The West roared out to a 26-0 lead, then went on to put up the most points it has ever scored in a Lobster Bowl with a 55-18 victory over the East at Thornton Academy’s Hill Stadium on a sunny Saturday.
Net proceeds from the game go to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Bonny Eagle quarterback Cam Day threw for two touchdowns and ran for one more to earn MVP honors for the West. Portland linebacker Nick Archambeault had a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown to earn MVP for the East.
The West, which now leads the all-time series 19-9, had a number of other stars on offense and defense. Lisbon’s Tyler Halls, a quarterback who moved to wide receiver for the game, caught four passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Cape Elizabeth wide receiver Ben Ekedahl also had two touchdown catches, and Oak Hill slot receiver Steven Gilbert had one touchdown catch.
“The QB’s are good. It’s a privilege to play in coach (Kevin) Cooper’s offense,” Halls said. “It took a little time for us to get used to each other. We weren’t hooking up early in the game.”
Sanford QB Frankie Veino hooked up with Halls for two of his three touchdown passes, and Mountain Valley kicker Kyle Farrar converted five of six PATs.
The West’s defense gave its offense time to get clicking with a dominating first-half performance, limiting the East to 66 total yards. The defense also scored two touchdowns — a 35-yard interception return by Traip defensive back Angelo Succi and a high snap recovered in the end zone by Robert Hetherman — and generally frustrated the East offense throughout.
“The quarterbacks were the main focus,” said West defensive back Finn Zechman of South Portland, who had one of his team’s three interceptions. “But the big thing was our West receivers were so talented. It was great to go against that competition in practices. It prepared us to be able to run a lot of man coverage and not worry so much of getting beat over the top.”
The West went over the top for the game’s first touchdown on its first possession. On third down from the East’s 9, Day faked a screen to Ekedahl. Gilbert initially acted as if he was going to block, then broke to the end zone and was wide open for a 7-0 lead, capping an eight-play, 76-yard opening…