CUMBERLAND – It took time for Spruce Mountain to get going Friday night against Greely in the first game of its inaugural football season.

But when it did, the Phoenix’s strategy became clear: Hand off the ball to Bill Calden and see if anyone can stop him.

Calden had 30 carries and scored all three of the Phoenix’s touchdowns, including a 39-yarder for the go-ahead score with 58 seconds remaining, as Spruce Mountain came back from a 14-0 first-half deficit for a 22-20 victory.

“This just feels great. We all came out here feeling good and knew we were going to play a good game,” Calden said.

“In the first half we were a little frustrated, but we came out in the second half just ecstatic to be here together and we did what we had to do to win the game.”

“I’m happy for the kids,” Spruce Mountain Coach Mark Bonnevie said. “They truly stuck together, and I think that was the final test for them to pass to see if this is going to work, so I’m awfully proud of them.”

Greely quarterback Drew Hodge and running back Mike Leeman utilized the option offense with ease, finding holes and cutting back against the Spruce Mountain defense. Leeman scored Greely’s first touchdown after taking a shovel pass from Hodge and trotting 18 yards into the end zone with 9:49 left in the first quarter.

After forcing Spruce Mountain to punt, Hodge went to Leeman on the option once again, and Leeman cut back for a 76-yard touchdown run with 23 seconds remaining in the half.

Calden scored on 5-yard run at 2:57 of the third quarter, but Leeman blocked the PAT attempt.

Nick Maynard answered with a 48-yard kickoff return, but Spruce Mountain made key stops and took over on downs. Calden then ended a quick drive with a 77-yard touchdown run, and Alwayne Uter bulled into the end zone for a 2-point conversion that tied the score at 14.

In the fourth period, Calden powered through the defense with runs of 5 and 11 yards to set up his 39-yard TD run. Uter followed with another 2-point conversion to give the Phoenix a 22-14 lead with less than a minute remaining.

Greely got the ball back and drove down the field to get to the Spruce Mountain 25 from its own 36. The Phoenix defense held at the goal line, but a pass interference call gave Greely another chance and after two attempts, Hodge found a diving Maynard in the right corner of the end zone to make the score 22-20 with 7.3 seconds left.

Hodge attempted another pass for a 2-point conversion, but it sailed high.