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AYF rivals square off
RUMFORD -- The AYF Falcons and AYF 49ers kicked off Saturday's rival games with an action packed game as both teams controlled the football while chewing up real estate.
Both squads exhibited hard hitting defenses while displaying textbook tackles. The AYF Falcons scored with 2:58 left in the game but the 49ers recovered the onside kick and ran down the clock before punching it into the end zone with seven seconds left in the contest for a 26-14 victory in front of a big crowd at Chet Bulger Field.
The 49ers got on the board first when they blocked a Falcon punt, giving them great field position at the Falcon 35. Andrew McDonald ran a reverse for a 30-yard TD. Chase Clark nailed the PAT kick.
The 49ers scored again with 2:55 left in the half when Anthony Mazza followed his blockers into the end zone to make it 13-0.
McDonald scored from five yards out with just 10 seconds left before intermission as the 49ers went into halftime with a 19-6 lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Falcons offense engineered an 11-play, 69-yard scoring drive consuming 5:02. Quarterback Casey Cormier ran the option around left end then delivered a perfect pitch to Jasper Turner, who hit pay dirt from 18 yards out. Cormier ran in the PAT and the Falcons trailed 19-14 with 2:58 left in the game.
The 49ers recovered the onside kick and controlled the pig skin before McDonald ran it into the end zone from six yards out with seven seconds remaining. Clark drilled the PAT for a 26-14 49ers victory.
The Falcons, guided by longtime head coach Kelly Gorham, have been in the championship game the last three seasons while winning back-to-back championships.
The Falcons travel to Gray Sunday to face the Patriots, who won in the opening round in the playoffs. Coach Gorham said, "If we limit turnovers and penalties next week, we have a good chance of coming away with a win. We lost 7-6 early in the season. We will make a few adjustments and hope the team brings energy."
Congratulations to Jasper Turner for receiving the Lucas Dolloff award. Also, congratulations to Falcons coach Buddy Hosie, who received the AYF Volunteer of the Year award. The area is fortunate to have a coach like Buddy Hosie. His loyalty and dedication to his players, team, and local football community is hard to come by. Thanks to Scott and Marie Gauvin for keeping youth football thriving in the River Valley area. Thanks to Doug and Jeff Gilbert for officiating countless games while sharing you knowledge of the rules to players and coaches.
Submitted by Mark Richard.