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There wasn’t any doubt that the Mountain Valley football team was in for a physical battle when it entered through the smoke show on the far end of Chet Bulger Field to face Cape Elizabeth. It was a matter of who would blink first or which one had the fortitude to get up and make a statement.
These teams are certainly no strangers in the postseason, with the Falcons now having won five of the six meetings. This game was no exception as the two teams engaged in a clash of the titans.
It was a rematch of the regular season finale two weeks ago, when Mountain Valley rallied for a 20-14 triumph over Cape Elizabeth on the artificial turf at Hannaford Field. Kyle Duguay (198 yards, 25 rushes) led the running game, while Devon Hamel and the Falcons defense stiffened.
The Falcons would experience a number of adversities in the first few minutes; the circumstances might have shaken a lesser team. These included having two drives end on turnovers and a TD nullified. In between, Duguay was injured and neck pain, deemed it necessary to have him immobilized and transported to the hospital. Fortunately, x-rays were negative.
“We knew we had to dig deep and play our best,” said Taylor Carey. “After Kyle’s injury, it (game) changed dramatically for us and I am so proud of these guys.”
A special teams play had produced the initial score of the game. Even more importantly, the Falcons had proven it could control the line of scrimmage by holding the ball for 12 plays, so that boded well for the future.
Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to witness MV later unleash their smash mouth running game en route to engineering an 86-yard, 17-play drive. Matt Hosie and Izaak Mills combined for 74 yards and three first downs.
Cool and collective Quarterback Zach Radcliffe managed the controls and threw a pass for a first down to Colin Merrill. His final throw of the first half was a four-yard scoring strike to Jake Theriault.
“The hitting was awesome,” said MV coach Jim Aylward. “Both teams should be proud of their play tonight.”
Cape Elizabeth was ineffective on six possessions in the first half as the Falcons defense did its job, with linebackers Ryan Glover and Ryan Nicols, tackle Santos Rodriguez, and ends Carey and Hamel making true tackles.
The Capers served notice on the opening drive of third quarter with a 16-play drive. The ball was on the MV five and over nine minutes was taken off the clock.
The Capers runners were contained as 300-pound Andrew Lavallee ran for 93 yards on 23 carries and Derek Roberts has just 28 yards after gaining 110 yards two weeks ago.
In Wells Saturday, MV will play in their 17th regional final in the school's 23—year history.