High school football

Crusaders hold serve at home to best Mariners in Class C North playoff

John Bapst wins fifth straight game, face MCI in semifinals
By Mark Haskell | Nov 02, 2019
Photo by: Mark Haskell Oceanside's Matt Spear takes a drink on Nov. 1 in high school football in Bangor. The Mariners lost to John Bapst 14-0 in a Class C North quarterfinal playoff game.

Bangor — The No. 6 Oceanside football team knew it would have to play its best of the season to knock off No. 3 John Bapst under the lights on Friday night, Nov. 1 in a Class C North quarterfinal playoff game at Husson University.

Not only were the Crusaders the higher seed, but also played their best at the conclusion of the campaign, as they won their final four games to help cinch a home playoff game.

By comparison, the Mariners were plagued by turnovers and penalties — some of which led directly to a pair of Crusader touchdowns — during Friday's contest as the hosts ripped of their fifth straight win with a 14-0 high school victory on the turf field.

Watch video and see more photos below.

With the victory, John Bapst/Bangor Christian/Penobscot Christian (7-2) advances to the Class C North semifinals, where it will face No. 2 Maine Central Institute (7-2), likely on Friday, Nov. 8.

The Huskies defeated No. 7 Old Town 34-6 in another quarterfinal playoff game on Friday.

Oceanside saw its season conclude at 4-5.

The Mariner/Crusaders playoff game was scoreless after the first quarter, but John Bapst took a 7-0 lead into halftime and maintained that advantage after three quarters.

John Bapst quarterback Wilson Higgins connected with Rhett McDonald for a 24-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, while Quinn Mitchell had a two-yard TD run in the second quarter. Max Chadwick added two extra-point kicks to round out the scoring for the Crusaders.

While the game was not a blowout — with both teams largely equal in terms of accrued penalties and turnovers — John Bapst moved the ball with more effectiveness than did Oceanside as the Crusaders' triple-option offense proved problematic for the Mariners.

And, unlike the Mariners, the Crusaders were not made to pay for their mistakes.

Karl Ilvonen made two interceptions on defense for Oceanside, while Landdon Willis also recovered a fumble in the losing effort.

Higgins found Garrett Kirlin on a long third-down completion in the first quarter, which was called back due to a penalty. After a penalty on the ensuing play gave John Bapst the task of attempting to convert a third-and-39, Higgins had his pass attempt picked off by Ilvonen.

In the second quarter, the Crusaders turned the ball over on downs deep in their own territory, but Oceanside fumbled the ball back to John Bapst two plays later.

That gave the hosts a short field to work with 6:27 to go in the first half as John Bapst took over on the 32-yard line.

Five plays later, Mitchell punched it in on a run play from two yards — while Chadwick converted the extra point — to give the Crusaders a 7-0 lead with 5:15 to play.

Oceanside had two more possessions in the first half. The first ended on an interception down the left sideline, while the other saw the Mariners rip off big chunks of yardage, but Ilvonen missed on a throw to Aidan Munro in the far corner of the end zone as the halftime siren blared.

The Crusaders received the second-half kick and had a methodical drive — including a long pass over the middle to Derek Long — but saw their effort stall deep in scoring territory when Ilvonen claimed his second interception of the game with the hosts 17 yards from the end zone with 6:52 left in the third quarter.

John Bapst faced a 3rd-and-3 to begin the fourth quarter, but an Oceanside offside penalty gave the Crusaders a fresh set of downs on the 35-yard line.

A few plays later, the Crusaders put the game away when Higgins connected with McDonald with a 24-yard TD pass with 10 minutes to play. Chadwick’s extra point gave John Bapst a 14-point advantage.

Oceanside’s next possession ended with a turnover on downs, while John Bapst also coughed the ball up on their next try, as Willis earned a fumble recovery.

However the Mariners’ next possession ended in four plays.

John Bapst, with a short field in front of them and in field-goal range — and the game in hand — knelt on the ball on a fourth-and-11 with about 30 seconds to play.

From there, Oceanside handed off to senior tackle Caleb Burns, who ripped off about a 30-yard-gain on the ground, which gave Mariner fans reason to cheer as the season’s final seconds ticked off the clock.

Oceanside at Hermon football
Hermon hosts Oceanside in high school football on Nov. 1 at Husson University in Bangor. (Video by: Mark Haskell and Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Dylan O'Reilly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Jacob Carroll, left, and John Bapst's Max Chadwick. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Landdon Willis, right, and John Bapst's Garrett Kirlin. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Landdon Willis, front, and John Bapst's Garrett Kirlin. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Landdon Willis, front, and John Bapst's Garrett Kirlin. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Landdon Willis, front, and John Bapst's Garrett Kirlin. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, left, and Gavyn Tower. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, left, and Zach Healey, right, as well as John Bapst's Devlin Crowley. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, left, Zach Healey, middle, and Matt Spear, right, as well as John Bapst's Devlin Crowley. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, left, Matt Spear, back, as well as John Bapst's Colby Brown, left, and Kyle Long, right. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside players huddle with coach Wes Drinkwater. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Darius Pierpont, right, and John Bapst's Max Chadwick. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Darius Pierpont, right, and John Bapst's Max Chadwick. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Gavyn Tower, left, Jack Elwell, (56) and Darius Pierpont, right, as well as John Bapst's Josh Bragg (52), Jake Chapman (75) and Colby Brown (44). (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Jack Elwell, left, and Darius Pierpont, middle, as well as John Bapst's Colby Brown, front. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Darius Pierpont, left, and Aidan Munro, middle, as well as John Bapst's Rhett McDonald. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Darius Pierpont, left, and Aidan Munro, middle, as well as John Bapst's Rhett McDonald. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aidan Munro, left, Karl Ilvonen, middle, and Michael Yates, right, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, left, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, left, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aidan Munro, left, and Darius Pierpont, right, as well as John Bapst's Landon St. Peter. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Elliot Lucier. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, left, and Aidan Munro, middle, as well as John Bapst's Colby Brown. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Darius Pierpont, middle, and John Bapst's Rhett McDonald, left, and Wilson Higgins. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Darius Pierpont, middle, and John Bapst's Rhett McDonald, left, and Wilson Higgins. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Darius Pierpont, left, and John Bapst's Quinn Mitchell. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, middle, and Matt Spear, right, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Gavyn Tower, back, Karl Ilvonen, middle, and Dylan O'Reilly, front. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Michael Yates, left, and Gavyn Tower, right, as well as John Bapst's Josh Bragg (52), Jake Chapman (75) and Quinn Mitchell (22). (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Landdon Willis, middle, and John Bapst's Colby Brown, left, and Quinn Mitchell, front, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aidan Munro, left, Gavyn Tower, back, and Karl Ilvonen, right, as well as John Bapst's Derek Long. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
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