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Injury-plagued Falcons battle to the end
WELLS -- The Mountain Valley football team met their match in the Class B Campbell Conference championship game Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons were simply unable to get on the right track in a 10-0 loss. However, the defense stood toe-to-toe with Wells before a huge crowd at Warrior Memorial Field.
Mountain Valley extended a solid effort by holding Wells to a field goal on the first possession of the game. The rest of the first half was a defensive battle as the teams each punted three times. The Falcons were hindered by poor field position, beginning at their own 24, 14 and 24.
Mountain Valley, who concludes their season at 9-2, had first downs on a pair of runs by Kyle Duguay and QB Zac Radcliffe’s 13-yard pass to Izaak Mills. The drives halted quickly as the Falcons then went three and out.
“We simply were unable to do anything against them,” said Duguay. “They controlled the entire game, inside, outside and over the top. We played with them, but they have a great team.”
Wells started the initial drive on their own 44 and was facing a third and 17. QB Paul McDonough ran for 16 and on fourth down they made a first down. The drive reached the MV 5 and linebacker Colin Merrill made a tackle on third down. Following a delay penalty, Wells kicked a 25-yard field goal.
This time the Falcons held their ground, led by linebacker Ryan Glover, who had 17 tackles and a sack. Devon Hamel and Nate Nicols combined on a sack, while a Mills tackle also forced a punt.
“Take a look at our numbers over the years,” said MV coach Jim Aylward. The Falcons have won state crowns in 2004, ’06, ’08 and last year. “The program has nothing to be ashamed.”
Mountain Valley has relied on their dominating running game, but it never materialized, gaining 54 yards on 23 carries. Last month, the Wells defense limited the Falcons to 96 yards on the ground.
On the opening possession of the third quarter, Radcliffe (sore shoulder) passed to Isaac Roberts for a first down. The Warriors stiffened and Hamel punted to the Wells 7. McDonough and Louis DiTomasso engineered an 11-play, 93-yard drive, with Drew Sperry scoring a 29-yard touchdown with 2:48 left in the third quarter.
MV, who was five for 11 on third down, reached the Wells 44 and a penalty placed the ball on the 29, but Joey Spinelli intercepted (second) in the fourth quarter.
Wells will play Leavitt for the state championship game on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.