DEXTER-- Asher Bowden rushed for 119 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries to lead the Bucksport Bucks to a 35-19 class D victory over Dexter on Saturday afternoon.
"I give all the credit to Nic Bishop and Nate Gray,"Bowden said. "They did a hell of a job blocking for me."
Coach Joel Sankey decided to go with a heavy dose of Bowden in the second half.
Bowden was the ball carrier for each of the Bucks final 13 offensive plays.
The Tigers took a 19-13 lead, when Trevor Fogarty rushed into the end-zone from 5 yards out with 7:23 left in the third quarter.
Bowden took over from that point. He ran for 89 yards and three touchdowns in the final 19 minutes of play.
"We made an adjustment on the blocking on the play we continued to run in the second half,"Sanky said. "The kids played better in the second half."
Dexter coach Kevin Armstrong added, "The personal on that side matched up well with our personal. We made some adjustments scheme wise. Athletically we didn't match up well enough."
Matthew Stewart was a solid quarterback last season as a sophomore for the Bucks.
In Stewart's first game as a junior, the Tigers gave him all he could handle.
Dexter intercepted Stewart four times in the first half.
"We have some great athletes in our secondary,"Armstrong said. "I was happy with our coverage."
Connor Larson picked off a pass with 5:09 remaining in the first quarter. That led to a Fogarty to Daytona Gould 26 yard touchdown.
Gould picked off a Stewart pass late in the first half. That led to a Fogarty to Matt Bartlett 56 yard touchdown.
"We didn't execute well in the first half. We had too many mistakes,"Sanky said. "We were lucky the game was tied at the end of the first half."
Josh Gray scored two touchdowns in the first half, including a 30 yard punt return.
"I told myself, I was going to get a touchdown,"Gray said. "I was running until someone stopped me."
Gray also scored when Stewart connected with him for a 60 yard touchdown.
The preseason class D favorites from Bucksport stepped it up a notch in the second half. They cut down the turnovers and penalties while increasing the number of times they gave the ball to Bowden.
"We dug deeper,"Gray said. "The coaches told us we needed to step it up in the second half and that is what we did."
Fogarty finished the game with 247 yards and two touchdowns on 14-20 passing. He rushed for 26 yards and one touchdown on eight carries.
Fogarty and David McKenney each had one interception for the Tigers.
Dexter (0-1) will host John Bapst next Saturday.
"They (John Bapst) are a great team with a great coaching staff,"Armstrong said. "Looking forward to playing our football and see what happens."
Tyler Maguire recorded three sacks for the Bucks.
Bucksport (1-0) will play their home opener against Ellsworth next Friday.