2018 H.S. Football Preview: Falcons have options

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Mountain Valley players meet with coaches near the end of a preseason practice. (Randy Whitehouse/Sun Journal)

RUMFORD — Entering the 2018 season with a speedy, veteran backfield and a small, green offensive line, Mountain Valley coach Pat Mooney opted to go a little less old school for his offensive system.

“We’ve changed the offensive scheme to suit them,” Mooney said. “We were running the single-wing when we had guys like (Ian) Brennick and (Curtis) Gauvin, who could line up and just move bodies. It’s hard to do with sophomores and juniors.” 

The spinning single-wing is out, replaced by the triple option “to take some of the responsibility off of them and put it on our veteran backfield,” Mooney said.

Quarterback Dylan Desroches, all-conference running back Jacob Blanchard and fullback Avery Bradeen lead a deep group that Mooney is hoping can churn out long, clock-killing drives in addition to ripping off big plays.

The Falcons will look to throw more, too, with Desroches counting on a big trio of receivers in Keegan Davis, Draven Finnegan and Taylor Pelletier.

“I think we’re ready for it,” Desroches said. “We’re upperclassmen now, so we can take it.”

“I think if we make everything quick in the backfield and make the reads right, it will take the pressure off of the line,” he added.

Darin Buono, an all-conference guard who is moving to tackle, is the only returning lineman on either side of the ball. 

The Falcons will have to be a little more finesse on defense, too, looking to swarm to the ball.

“We’re smaller, but we’re a lot faster than last year, and I think that’s what we base this defense off,” said Blanchard, a cornerback.

“We’re an undersized defense. We have more DB-type players than we have true linebackers, so we’re giving a 4-3 look, trying to use our speed,” Mooney said. 

Mooney said the Falcons would like to at least match last year’s top-four finish and home playoff game. Their fate from there will rest on whether team speed is the antidote for what could be some physical foes in November.

Mountain Valley players meet with coaches near the end of a preseason practice. (Randy Whitehouse/Sun Journal)

Mountain Valley players meet with coaches near the end of a preseason practice. (Randy Whitehouse/Sun Journal)

Dylan Desroches of Mountain Valley scampers up the sideline for a 76-yard touchdown run during the first half against Lisbon last season. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)Jacob Blanchard of Mountain Valley finds running room against Lisbon last season. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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