OLD ORCHARD BEACH — In danger of allowing a lead slip away late, Dylan Desroches and the Mountain Valley offensive line simultaneously broke a big play and the hearts of the Old Orchard Beach homecoming crowd at Joe Regina Field.

Desroches ran through a gaping hole on the right side, kicked out of a tackle near his 40-yard line and scampered the rest of the way for a 74-yard touchdown run with 5:44 that clinched a 22-6 Mountain Valley win on Saturday.

“It was the biggest hole I’ve ever seen,” Desroches said. “The line did their job and I did mine. I just turned on the jets once I saw the hole.”

Desroches, a sophomore “spin” back, finished with 229 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries to lead a Falcons running attack that wore down the Seagulls (3-3) for 354 yards.

Mountain Valley’s defense, meanwhile, extended its streak of not allowing a score to 10 quarters by shutting down the run and rarely giving a short-handed Seagull passing game time to develop (five sacks).

The Seagulls’ lone touchdown came on an 85-yard punt return by Cody Blanchard that pulled them to within 14-6 7:50 to go.

On their ensuing possession, the Falcons (4-2) quickly put themselves in a 1st-and-20 hole with back-to-back neutral zone infractions. But Desroches wiped out those and Old Orchard Beach’s hopes with his TD run on 2nd-and-18.

“Every time we needed that big play to kind of change momentum, they seemed to get it instead of us,” OOB coach Dean Plante said.

Mountain Valley picked up all of its sacks as the Seagulls, playing without starting QB Dylan Boudreau, were forced to go to the air. Hunter Ames, Curtis Gauvin, Andrews McDonald, Allan Hagan and Tyler Murray chased down Ryun Hogan of separate occasions.

“That was fun,” Ames said. “We just went full-bore.”

“We were pretty well prepared,” Mountain Valley coach Pat Mooney said of facing OOB’s revamped offense. “Old Orhcard Beach is very, very physical. I don’t think they get enough credit for how good they are up front.”

The Falcons’ defense came up big early, too. Blanchette returned the opening kickoff to the Mountain Valley 20. But after allowing the Seagulls to convert on fourth-and-1, the Falcons didn’t let them get past the 4, and Ames stopped Hogan on fourth-and-goal to turn the ball over on downs.

The defense had to answer the bell again after the offense opened with a three-and-out and a 15-yard punt set up OOB at the Falcon 30. The Seagulls moved the chains again on fourth-and-1 to return to the red zone but didn’t get any closer as Jacob Blanchard picked off Hogan in the end zone on fourth-and-8.

“We’ve gone 10 quarters and haven’t allowed any points, so our defense is pretty sharp,” said Ames, a senior linebacker. “We studied this team all week and knew what they were going to run and hit them pretty hard.”

“We thought if we could get up on them early with their style of offense we might be able to get them,” Plante said. “They’re the type of team you definitely want to score first. That’s why we took the ball. Everything was looking like it was working perfection and then we stalled. That was a huge momentum swing when we had those two opportunities early and didn’t take advantage of it.”

On the Falcons’ ensuing drive, a 12-yard run by the 260-pound Gauvin on fourth-and-6 set up Desroches’ first touchdown, a 35-yard run down the right side that made it 6-0 with 10 minutes left in the half.

“(Desroches) is a very smart player,” Mooney said. “He has a high football IQ. And Blanchard’s the same way. We feel like if you take out one of those guys, there are two more that can sting you. But Dylan is definitely leading the offense.”

Both teams drove into the opponent’s territory on their next possession, but the score stayed 6-0 at the half.

Mountain Valley opened the second half with an impressive 11-play, 78-yard drive, all on the ground, that burned nearly eight minutes off the clock. Desroches, McDonald, Matthew Brown and Avery Bradeen all got touches as the Falcons only faced third down once. Blanchard capped the march with a four-yard touchdown run and Gauvin hammered in the two-point conversion for a 14-0 lead.

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