BANGOR – When Bangor hit for a 75-yard touchdown on its first play from scrimmage, it looked like the sign of an upcoming shootout.
As it turned out, that first touchdown, and the two-point conversion that followed, would have been all the Slaters needed to beat Northwestern on Senior Night at Paul Farnan Field at Bangor Memorial Park.
The Slater defense took over from there and led the team to a 22-7 win.
"We were thrown off our rhythm," said Northwestern head coach Tom Linette. "Bangor was the better team on both sides of the ball.
"Their front line and their linebackers did a fantastic job. They hassled us all night long. We should have been a little better than we were."
Northwestern tallied just 97 total yards in the game and was held to negative yardage on 10 of its 39 offensive. Slater defensive linemen Robert Naylor, Ryan Pysher and Josh Pensyl got consistent penetration into the Tiger backfield.
Bangor forced seven punts and held Northwestern to 1-for-10 on third down conversion attempts.
The Tigers (5-4) had three first downs in the first half and had none in the second half until Ty Cunningham's 62-yard touchdown run with 2:17 left in the game. Before that run Northwestern was averaging less than one yard per offensive play.
A defense that is used to overcoming offensive turnovers didn't have that to on Friday night as the offense protected the ball.
"We have capabilities, but all season we've been shooting ourselves in the foot," said Bangor head coach Frank Scagliotta. "In our two losses we beat ourselves more than the other teams beat us."
On Halloween weekend, Scagliotta went to his bag of tricks early. On his team's first offensive play, he called a lateral pass to running back Scott LaValva, who was line up as a wide receiver. LaValva found Ben Ammermann behind the Northwestern defense for a 75-yard touchdown pass.
LaValva then lined up behind center and passed to Russ Horn for a two-point conversion that made it 8-0 with 9:36 left in the first quarter.
The defenses took over from there. Bangor went three and out on its next three possessions. Its one sustained drive in the second half stalled at the Northwestern 24-yard line.
The Tigers were forced to punt on each of their first five possessions. An interception ended their fifth, just before halftime.
Bangor got some breathing room when it went 62 yards in nine plays on its second possession of the second half. That drive was capped by Josh Wing's 34-yard touchdown run with 1:19 left in the third quarter that gave his team a 15-0 lead.
LaValva left the game midway through the first quarter with a knee injury and Wing filled in, running 18 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
"Our team came together and brought out a lot of heart and that's what wins games," Wing said.