WESTBROOK – A year after what Westbrook running back Ben Grant called a mopey ride home from Rumford, the Blue Blazes turned the tables on Mountain Valley with a dominant 30-0 shutout Friday night in a Western Class B opener at Olmsted Field.

“It was a sulk,” Grant said after absorbing a 47-7 defeat in last year’s opener, Westbrook’s first game after dropping to Class B. “Now they get that long ride home and we get to come home with success.”

Grant ran for 161 yards and two first-half touchdowns, and Cale Bollig added 110 yards and two scores as Westbrook controlled the line and needed to punt only once. The Blue Blazes churned out 16 first downs and might have won by an even larger margin except for two interceptions and twice being stopped inside the 10.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to be this much,” said Grant, who also had a hand in two of Westbrook’s three sacks of Falcons quarterback Ryan Nichols. “That it was really puts hope and belief in the town and the team.”

Last year’s meeting opened with an 86-yard touchdown run by Matt Hosie on the first play. The Falcons led 28-0 after one quarter and 34-0 at the half.

Mountain Valley went on to a 9-2 season that ended in the Western Maine final against Wells. Westbrook, meanwhile, rebounded from a 1-4 start to win four of its final five, including a playoff win over Falmouth.

“We carried some energy over from last year,” said quarterback Kyle Heath, who completed 6 of 12 passes for 91 yards. “And we really wanted this game.”

Hosie didn’t play Friday night. He walked the sidelines wearing shorts and his Mountain Valley jersey. Coach Jim Aylward declined to explain Hosie’s absence, saying it was his job to protect his players. Only six of them Friday night were starters last year.

Brett Beachesne had the most carries for Mountain Valley, running for 63 yards on 14 carries. The Falcons moved the chains only once in the first half, and then not until their fourth possession, early in the second quarter. Overall they were outgained 356-112 on the ground and 91-25 through the air.

“A lot of teams don’t have a lot of quality depth,” said Westbrook Coach Jeff Guerette, “so when you lose someone as key and as good a player as Hosie is, you’re a much different team.”

Westbrook took a 6-0 lead early in the second on a 2-yard run by Grant that capped a 62-yard drive that included passes of 15 and 14 yards from Heath. The first was to Aaron Duncanson and the second to Collin Joyce, who also finished with 77 yards rushing on nine carries.

Four minutes later, Westbrook made it 14-0. Grant broke an inside reverse for 65 yards and Kyle Schumacher ran for the first of two 2-point conversions.

Grant went into the half with 140 yards rushing as Westbrook rolled up 274 yards to 36 for Mountain Valley. It could have been worse but the Falcons stopped Westbrook from scoring a third touchdown just before the break when Heath was tackled at the 4 after his team had expended its timeouts.

Bollig scored on runs of 4 and 3 yards in the second half.

“Any time you beat Mountain Valley it’s going to grab people’s attention,” Guerette said. “But at the same time it’s one game and we still have plenty of things to work on.”

Next up for Westbrook — which recovered all five of its fumbles Friday — is Wells, the defending state champion. But that could wait. As the final seconds ticked away Friday night, the skies suddenly opened up with a soaking rain.

“That,” said Grant, savoring the moment, “was nice.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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