TOPSHAM – The plays were choppy and the execution was lacking. When each team got a chance to make an impact, those opportunities were squandered.

It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that Mt. Blue was able to create some separation from Mt. Ararat in Friday night’s 22-0 victory.

“It was sloppy,” said Mt. Blue receiver Cam Sennick, who had a touchdown and 38 yards receiving. “It was tough. We had to get our heads in it. Once we did that, we moved a little better and things looked better.”

The teams combined for eight turnovers and 85 yards in penalties, and just 168 yards rushing and receiving in the first half, 121 for Mt. Blue.

“We played great defense, take away the first series. But we just weren’t moving the ball,” Mt. Ararat Coach Mark LaFountain said. “Not consistently.”

Sennick scored Mt. Blue’s first touchdown with 3:32 left in the first quarter when he ran 17 yards with a shovel pass from quarterback Jordan Whitney (7 of 14 passing, 159 yards). Nate Kendall added the first of his two extra-point kicks.

After Sennick’s touchdown, the Cougars (3-0) and Eagles (0-3) struggled to create any offensive flow. In the final seven minutes of the half, Mt. Blue couldn’t take advantage of two opportunities. Kendall had a 39-yard field-goal attempt blocked, and another Cougar drive that started from the Mt. Ararat 48 stalled after only six plays.

Meanwhile, Mt. Ararat was unable to convert three key second-half possessions.

Down to the Mt. Blue 1 after McKenzie Gary’s 41-yard run less than two minutes into the third quarter, the Eagles lost 7 yards on their next two plays, and Jake Liedman was unable to find receivers Colton Burne and Luke Liedman on third and fourth down.

Two minutes later, the Eagles returned a punt to the Cougars’ 18. After Mt. Ararat lost a yard, linebacker Matt Davis intercepted a pass by Jake Liedman.

Late in the third, the Eagles recovered a fumble off a punt and reached the 22 before losing the ball on downs.

The Cougars took a 15-0 lead on Izaiha Tracey’s 2-yard run with 6:38 left, followed by Whitney’s conversion pass to Zak Kendall. Just 38 seconds later, Mt. Blue capitalized on a fumble recovery, needing two plays to take a 22-0 lead on Whitney’s 1-yard touchdown.

“It was a push-and-pull game,” Sennick said. “It wasn’t until we got Ethan Keys’ long catch (a 49-yard reception with six minutes left) that got us to the 1, and that was the turning point.”

 

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be contacted at 791-6415 or at: [email protected]