POLAND – Mountain Valley’s defensive strategy Saturday was to stop Poland’s option game by shutting down the fullback dive. Taylor Carey took care of that all by himself.

The junior defensive lineman made five tackles for losses and recovered a fumble as the Falcons stuffed the Knights running game all day long in cruising to a 47-0 shutout win in a Western Class B football game.

The junior defensive tackle set the tone early by delivering a crushing hit on Poland fullback Conrad Labbe on the game’s opening play and spent much of his afternoon racing into the Poland offensive backfield to disrupt its offense.

“We worked all week to stop their fullback,” said Mountain Valley coach Jim Alyward. “Once we established that, it was really easy to stop the option.”

The Knights’ leading rusher was Derek Hanscom, who didn’t carry the ball until the Falcons’ second unit took the field. He had 16 of his team’s 35 yards on the ground and the Knights (0-4) totaled just 44 yards of offense with six first downs.

Carey is listed at only 165 pounds. He continually used his speed and quickness to beat the Poland offensive line off the ball.

With the Falcons (3-0) up 21-0 in the second quarter, Carey punished Poland runners for negative yardage on consecutive plays. On the first, he tossed quarterback Tony Whalen for a 4-yard loss and knocked the sophomore signal caller out of the game with a leg injury. On the next play, he belted Tyler Sturtevant, Whalen’s replacement, for a 3-yard loss.

“Taylor’s a heck of a football player,” said Alyward, “and he didn’t even play football last year. He has a motor that runs all the time. We have a real hard time blocking him (in practice).”

“I beat the guard and tackle quite a bit using the swim move,” said Carey, “and I focused on the fullback.”

While the defense had its way with the Knights, the offense was sharp as well from the start. The Falcons scored on their first four possessions and punted only once. Senior halfback Taylor Bradley led all rushers with 88 yards and scored two touchdowns — one on the ground and another on a 26-yard hook up from quarterback Cam Kaubris.

Fellow halfback Izaak Mills also had a big day. He rushed for 46 yards on just seven carries and scored three touchdowns. His third came on the defensive side when Sturtevant’s option toss to the right went awry after being hit behind the line. The ball fell into the hands of Mills who turned and raced 33 yards for a third quarter score to put the Falcons up 40-0.

Mountain Valley rolled for 310 yards on the ground. On its opening drive, fullback Tyler Mason went over from 3 yards out. On its next, Bradley capped a six-play, 80-yard drive by sweeping around the left side for a 16-yard score.

The Falcons went up 21-0 after taking over on the Knights’ 26 after an 11-yard punt early in the second quarter. On first down, Kaubris rolled right a lofted a pass to Bradley in the corner of the end zone. Bradley went up over Sturtevant to haul the ball in.

Midway thru the second, it was Mills turning a counter around the left end into an 18-yard touchdown and the Falcons took a 27-0 lead into the half.

On the opening play of the third quarter, Mills picked off a Sturtevant pass near midfield. Five plays later, Mills went off tackle for a 13-yard score. Reserve Jacob Theriault tacked on the final points on a 1-yard run in the final quarter.

After being competitive in their early games, the Knights found themselves outclassed and outhit against a Falcon team operating on all cylinders.

“When we look at the game film,” said Poland coach Mark Soehren, “I’m sure we’ll see that Mountain Valley played the game at a much faster pace than we did.

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