LIVERMORE FALLS — Spruce Mountain took advantage of a strong second quarter Friday night, including a 75-yard kickoff return by Austin Henault and a Dillon Webster 15-yard run for touchdowns, in a 34-14 Class C South football win at Griffin Field.

Spruce Mountain helped its cause by forcing four turnovers, an interception and three fumble recoveries. The Phoenix defense pressured Falcons QB Alex Ridley with four sacks.

Mountain Valley (2-6) have qualified for the playoffs No. 8 and travel to No. 1 Yarmouth next week. Spruce Mountain (4-4) will likely face Fryeburg.

“This is big for us,” Spruce Mountain coach Walter Polky said. “We’ve got a lot of guys playing their first year of varsity, so going to the playoffs will be another learning experience for them. We’ll go on from there.”

Mountain Valley scored early in the second quarter to tie the game and had momentum. The Falcons were in a gambling mode, converting twice on fourth down, with fullback Curtis Gauvin following the right side of the line for a 1-yard TD plunge.

But Henault took away those good feelings. He started up the middle, cut right and bounced outside. He then sprinted away down the sideline. The Phoenix caught a break on the conversion when Webster recovered a fumble in the end zone.


“Our offense is geared to the inside veer, plus we run the option,” Polky said. “We try to put players in the right positions and take advantage of the numbers.”

On the ensuing possession, Mountain Valley went three and out, with a short punt putting Spruce on the Falcons’ 31. Three lays later, Webster cut outside for the score.

Spruce Mountain led 20-6 at halftime.

“We really played hard. The defense was really aggressive,” Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe said. “Spruce is a good team with talented players. But if you take away that special teams score and that long pass that beat a freshman for a touchdown, it’s a 20-14 game and a totally different game.”

Spruce Mountain scored on its second possession of the game, when quarterback Caulin Parker (3 for 6, 103 yards in first half) hooked up with Henault for a catch and run 75 yard TD.

Andrew Darling (97 yards, 10 carries) and Parker scored on runs of 19 and 4 yards, respectively.

Mountain Valley stuck the Phoenix on the opening possession of the second half. Gauvin earned first downs, on two fourth downs But the third attempt on fourth down failed in the red zone.

The Falcons used Gauvin (48 yards, 18 carries), Mike Provencher (61 yards, 12 carries) and Troy Cochran (28 yards, 5-yard TD) to shoulder the load. The Falcons were playing without running back Kyle Farrar, who suffered a knee injury at Poland,last week

“We have the same record (this season as last). But this team has improved,” LaPointe said. “We were much more aggressive tonight, played solid defense in the trenches. They have a lot to be proud of.”

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