WELLS – After coming up empty on a pair of opportunities in the red zone, the Mountain Valley Falcons began to wonder.

“I thought we played really well the first half, offensively,” said Mountain Valley coach Jim Aylward. “We’d get in the red zone and we’d jump offside. I was beginning to think with three or four minutes left in the half that we’d never score this season. Every time we got near the goal line, we’d do something to hurt ourselves.”

The misfortune didn’t last the half for the Falcons though. Mountain Valley finally solved its struggles in the red zone with 2:19 left and then added another score in the closing seconds to take a sudden 14-0 lead. Mountain Valley never looked back in a 35-0 victory over Wells in the season opener.

Wells held the Falcons to just 44 yards rushing in the first half and thwarted back-to-back tries in the red zone. An Andy Shorey fumble gave Wells the ball on the 8 and an interception by David Cary ended another threat. With the Warriors bottling up the Falcons’ run game, Mountain Valley had to be airlifted to the lead.

“We can throw the ball at times,” said Aylward. “It’s going to open things up for us. Wells played very physical for the first three quarters, and we had to throw the ball against them.”

Shorey completed eight passes in 10 tries for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Wells managed just 39 yards total in the half.

“He’s a great passer,” said Wells coach Tim Roche. “He’s the real deal at quarterback. He throws the ball well and puts it right there. We were there defensively, but they made the catch.”

The Falcons ended the stalemate when Shorey connected on a third-and-21 play from the 21. Shorey found Justin Staires in the right corner for the touchdown with 2:19 left in the half. That came after Shorey hit Staires on a fourth-and-five play from the 16.

Down 6-0, Wells couldn’t move the ball and stalled at the 50 in the final minute. Rather than punt, Wells went for it on fourth-and-11 and failed.

“I made a coaching mistake,” said Roche. “We probably should have punted on fourth down. We gave them decent field position, and they were able to throw the ball down the field. Maybe if we punted and pinned them in, they might not have gone for it, and we go in down 6-0.”

After an incompletion, Shorey hit D.J. Gerrish for a 40-yard pass play that put the Falcons at the 13 with one second left.

“I just gave him a chance to get up there and get it by himself,” said Shorey. “I just put it up there, and he went up and got it.”

Shorey then hit Gerrish again. He fired a pass through the hands of a defender for Gerrish in the end zone. Shorey rumbled in on the conversion for a 14-0 lead.

“I just put a zip on it and let him go get it again,” said Shorey, who finished with 158 yards passing and three touchdowns. “In a crowd, that’s a tough catch.”

The Falcons made it 21-0 early in the third when Wells’ punter Vander Forbes fumbled a low snap. Shorey hit Devin Roberts on a five-yard pass. Roberts led all rushers with 78 yards on 18 carries.

Roberts added a 43-yard run in the fourth, and John Gorham took it in from the 13 late in the quarter.


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