RUMFORD — When things don’t work out it, adjustments are required. That was imperative for the Mountain Valley football team to get on track Friday night in a Campbell Conference crossover game.
The Falcons broke things open when Andrew McDonald raced 6 yards for the eventual winning touchdown and then made the defensive play with a big one-handed interception in the red zone to secure a 44-30 win against Oceanside at Chet Bulger Field.
Mountain Valley (1-12) established the line of scrimmage early on and jumped out to a 30-14 lead, behind three touchdown runs by quarterback Dylan Desroches, who finished with 174 yards gained and scoring runs of 73, 15 and 35 yards. Jacob Blanchard also ran in a 24-yard TD.
But momentum shifted when Oceanside scored on three straight possessions to tie it 30-all, with 7:09 left in the third quarter.
“Oceanside is a big team. But we felt with the speed of our runners that we could exploit their defense,” Mountain Valley coach Pat Mooney said. “We used counter plays. But the biggest difference was we kept our composure. The kids settled down.”
Mountain Valley responded quickly after Oceanside had tied it up, following an 80-yard TD run by Michael Norton Jr. and a conversion run by Jack Freeman.
On the ensuing possession, McDonald, who gained 99 of his 100 yards in second half, took the second play from the line of scrimmage and broke loose for a 60-yard TD. Jacob Blanchard (121 yards, 14 carries) ran in his second conversion for a 38-30 lead.
Oceanside QB Tim Mazzo opened up the airways and a Mountain Valley penalty set the ball at the 18. On the next play, McDonald stepped up and intercepted the ball.
“I had made some mental mistakes and needed to make up for it,” McDonald said, referring to touching a punted ball that led to the Mariners’ tying score. “On the run, I just followed my blocker. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
The Falcons offensive line — tackles Hunter Ames and Curtis Gauvin, guard Ian Brennick and center Camden Mason and Tyler Murray — is senior-laden and battle-tested and is the heartbeat of the offense. Junior Darrin Buono is another guard.
“We didn’t change a thing with our running,” Mooney said. “Half the people in Rumford had told me to scrap the offense. But we have the backs who can do the job.”
Blanchard scored a 31-yard TD to seal the deal.