TOPSHAM — Throughout Saturday’s high school football game at the rainy and chilly Topsham Fairgrounds, the ball-control option-based offense of Gray-New Gloucester gave Mt. Ararat fits.

The visiting Patriots rushed for 362 yards, but the Eagles found a way to hold on for a 36-28 eight-man football victory.

Mt. Ararat is 5-1 and heads to Readfield on Friday to face undefeated Maranacook. The 7 p.m. contest is a rematch of the Black Bears’ 38-18 win in Topsham on Sept. 14.

Thinking of rematches, Mt. Ararat and Gray-New Gloucester were meeting for the second time this season, with the Eagles rolling to a 56-28 win at Gray back on Sept. 6

The rematch was much different, with the visitors holding the ball for more than 17 minutes in the first half and scoring on their first two long possessions behind the running of Trent Overcash, Gabriel Gendreau and quarterback Daniel Stash.

“They are a good football team, and that option gives us challenges,” said Mt. Ararat coach Frank True. “Playing them twice, they know what we do, and we know what they do.”


“Both of our teams were missing players, and we knew that we had to work the clock. We did that pretty well,” said Gray-NG (1-5) coach Brian Jahna, whose Patriots visit Old Orchard Beach next Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Patriots began the game with a 64-yard march that lasted nearly half of the opening quarter. Gray-NG picked up four first downs on the drive, with Stash pushing his way into the end zone on a 3-yard run for a 6-0 Patriot lead.

Mt. Ararat quickly pushed back, with Riley Morin going off-tackle and sprinting 48 yards to paydirt. Morin ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-6 advantage.

Back came Gray-NG. Again, the Patriots used up nearly six minutes of the clock before Stash drove into the end zone on a short run for a 12-8 lead with 10:46 left in the first half.

Not to be outdone, Mt. Ararat struck, converting two fourth downs before a fourth-down pass from quarterback Cam Wallace to wide-open Cody Holman went for 38 yards and a 16-12 Eagle lead.

Stash, who picked up 80 yards on the ground in the first half, gained 21 on a quarterback scramble to move the Patriots into scoring position late in the first half. But the drive ended when Stash’s pass was tipped by Mt. Ararat safety Kaiden Tome into the waiting arms of teammate Nolan Blessington for an interception.


Gray-NG didn’t go into halftime quietly, with Connor Saunders sacking Wallace in the end zone for a safety, drawing the Patriots to 16-14 at the break.


The third quarter has been strong for Mt. Ararat this season, and on Saturday back-to-back touchdowns upped the Eagles’ advantage to 30-14 late in the frame.

Morin broke off another long TD run — this time from 51 yards — and Holman beat the Patriot defenders to the edge for a 30-yard run in giving the Eagles a 16-point lead.

But Gray-NG was far from finished. Overcash snuck through a hole and pulled away from the Mt. Ararat defense for a 52-yard TD run with 1:18 left in the third quarter. The Patriots forced a Mt. Ararat punt and Overcash came through again, this time on a 97-yard sprint to the end zone. Stash converted Gray-New Gloucester’s two-point conversion to bring the Patriots to 30-28 with 10:42 left in the fourth quarter.

“These guys have a lot character. To be down that much and to come back shows something,” Jahna said.


“They stung us where they needed to, but we had some guys playing out of position. We have to do a better job,” added True.

The Patriot defense came up with a big stop on fourth down to return the ball to the offense, but Tome came through again, jumping on a Gray-NG fumble to end the potential go-ahead drive.

“We had guys step up and were there at the end. We were able to come out on top,” said Tome. “Coach stepped up and talked to us, then we stepped up and made some plays.”

Holman scored with 2:42 remaining on a 6-yard TD run, but an incomplete pass on the two-point try kept the Patriots just one score behind.

Gray-NG began its final drive on its own 37-yard line, but the Eagles held, giving the ball back to the hosts on downs to end the game.

Despite the loss, Jahna is excited about his team.


“We have two important games left that could put us into the playoffs, and if we can get there, you never know,” Jahna said.

Overcash finished with 206 yards on 14 carries to pace the Gray-NG offense, with Stash adding 104 yards on 16 rushes.

Morin carried the ball 22 times for 158 yards with two TDs, while Holman found the end zone twice on the ground (10 carries, 66 yards) and once on a reception from Wallace (3-for-3, 55 yards, TD).

Kyle Graffam and Daniel Jackson each had eight tackles to lead the Mt. Ararat defense. Blessington added six tackles, with Holman and Morin picking up five stops apiece.

Zebadiah Dufresne, Benjamin Wildes, Saunders and Overcash led the Patriot defense.

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