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Three Falcons on football all-star squad
RUMFORD -- There were countless trying times throughout the season for the Mountain Valley football team. However, much to its credit, there wasn't any lapses in striving toward what needed to be accomplished.
Along the way, players Jake Theriault, Colin Merrill and Ryan Nicols each stood out to be recognized by the rest of the Campbell Conference at the annual banquet. The trio were each captains and stood out on both sides of the ball.
On defense, Theriault and Nicols each patrolled in the secondary, while Merrill was a linebacker. Additionally, the three were the team's leading tacklers.
The team itself was beset by a great deal of adversity - injuries and suspensions - which effected nearly every player on the roster at one point or another. Still, there was never a bunch of excuses uttered because the team lined up with who ever was available and it was that way on a weekly basis.
“We're circling the wagons," said MV coach Jim Aylward, following a 19-12 loss to Marshwood in the second game of the season.
The seniors contributed, with Theriault catching a Nicols pass for a 29-yard touchdown and Merrill tied the score with a 34-yard TD run.
The following week, Matt Hosie returned with vigor 169 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns, while the Falcons defense came up big on several occasions in a come-from-behind 24-13 win over Spruce Mountain at Chet Bulger Field.
Mountain Valley was forced to play an all around game because Spruce Mountain refused to go away. A fumble recovery by Aaron Benson and goal-line stands at the end of the first half and on the Phoenix final drive of the game, provided the Falcons with their first win this season.
Mountain Valley received a total team effort, with Nicols throwing a TD pass and Merrill spearheading the defense a 35-7 win over Gray-New Gloucester, to even its record at 2-2. In the previous two weeks, the Falcons used 12 players (different starters) for the seven positions on the offensive line, including the tight ends.
The tide turned with losses to York, Wells and Greely. A bright spot was Dom Haines, transfer from Telstar, started on defense and returned two interceptions for scores.
The Falcons had something to prove and were definitely wasn't going to be denied in its regular season finale. Nicols threw three touchdowns, including two to Theriault, in a 32-6 win over Cape Elizabeth. The defense was led by tackles Scott Nicols, Benjamin Ploude and Santos Rodriguez.
''I'm thrilled to watch them raise their helmets in victory,'' said Aylward. "Especially at their last home game. They earned it."
"This was senior night and every one was pumped up," said Theriault.. ''Granted the seniors played well, but even the underclassmen were into the game and it helped.''