Mountain Valley 47

Cape Elizabeth 6

The Cape Elizabeth football season came to an end on Saturday afternoon following a 47-6 loss at the hands of top-ranked Mountain Valley. The undefeated Falcons scored 21 points in the first quarter and never looked back. For the Capers, it was a bitter end to a stellar season.

Mountain Valley came out firing in the first quarter. On the second play of the game, quarterback Andy Shorey threw a pass to Justin Staires. Staires came down with the ball and outran the Cape defensive backfield for an 87-yard touchdown. D.J. Gerrish booted the extra point and the Falcons led 7-0 less than a minute into the game.

The Capers were unable to move the ball downfield and they were forced to punt on their first possession. Mountain Valley took over and moved methodically downfield using both the run and the pass. Staires carried the ball into the end zone from two yards out to extend the lead.

From that point on, things just got worse for the Capers (who were missing a handful of players due to suspensions.)

“That’s a very good football team and as the game went on they definitely exposed the missing spots,” said Cape coach Aaron Filieo. “I’m sure as they started to gain momentum in the back of the seniors’ minds it started creeping in ‘what if, what if, what if.’ But at the same time we had good football players on and they did good things against us. It’s a credit to them; we didn’t lose this game because of those suspensions.”

Cape Elizabeth fumbled on their very next play from scrimmage and the Falcons scored three plays later. The large, early deficit didn’t really change the Capers’ strategy.

“We actually came into the game looking to throw so we continued to do that,” said Filieo. “I think we just didn’t block as well as we could have. We didn’t really have a game plan after that point. At first we were going to try to do some things and put some points on the board. But then when it got really out of hand, we said ‘let’s just try to get some first downs and what not.'”

Unfortunately for the Capers, they were unable to get those first downs. The offense never got into a rhythm and the Mountain Valley defense kept the Capers off balance the entire game. They were penetrating the line and forcing Cape freshman quarterback Ezra Wolfinger to hurry and make bad decisions. Wolfinger got the start for the Capers because of an injury to Jim Bump in the regular season meeting between these two teams two weeks ago.

“I think after Ezra got hit hard a couple of times he got shook up,” Filieo said. “But I think they would have hit Jim just as hard. In fact they did the last time we were here. (Wolfinger) was fine. He kept coming off and I kept checking with him. We got down so early we just kind of had our hands tied in terms of what we could do.”

The Falcons kept piling on the points. They scored 13 more in the second quarter to lead 34-0 at halftime.

In the second half they picked up right where they left off in the first half. Following an interception at the start of the third quarter, Shorey and Staires hooked up for another touchdown. The Falcons would score once more in the game when Staires caught his third touchdown pass of the game.

With the game out of reach, the Capers could have easily packed it in, but they didn’t. They tried desperately to get something going offensively, but couldn’t until the end of the fourth quarter. Wolfinger led the Capers on a 64-yard drive and into the end zone. He hit Patrick Gallant for a 35-yard touchdown pass as time expired to get the Capers on the scoreboard.

“We had a lot of adversity to deal with. A lot of our star players couldn’t play,” said Cape senior Tucker Emerson. “We just had to push through it and we gave it our best. It didn’t turn out in our favor, but you can’t doubt our heart.”

The Capers went 9-2 this season with both of those losses coming against Mountain Valley.

“For the seniors we knew this is the last game we’d probably play and it was all or nothing,” Gallant said. “It’s the last game and you’ve got to give it all you can. There’s no use in skipping out, what does that say about the program? It was definitely a good season for us, it didn’t end the way we wanted it. They deserve it, they are a great team.”

After the game Filieo was disappointed in the fact that the season was over, but he is especially pleased with what this team accomplished.

“I told the seniors that this is going to hurt,” he said. “This game is going to hurt and its going to sting for a while. But when the dust settles they need to look at the season and they need to realize they have forever changed football in Cape Elizabeth. It is a great group of seniors with great leadership. They got us here. They got us to this point, so they have forever made their mark on what is going to be one of the best programs in the state if not already one of the best.”

Mountain Valley (11-0) moves on to play Eastern Maine Class B champion Winslow (10-1) on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium for the Class B state title.

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