MT. ARARAT HIGH SCHOOL quarterback Dylan Johnson takes the snap behind James Stemp during Friday’s Class B matchup in Topsham with Oceanside.

MT. ARARAT HIGH SCHOOL quarterback Dylan Johnson takes the snap behind James Stemp during Friday’s Class B matchup in Topsham with Oceanside.

TOPSHAM

During his first three years of playing high school football, there were few successful moments for Mt. Ararat senior Brandon Jusseaume and his Eagle teammates.

But, this year has been far, far different, and after Friday’s Western Maine Class B 32-0 whitewash of Oceanside, Mt. Ararat stands at 3-3.

Jusseaume, who had a team-high 10 tackles and teamed with offensive linemen Dominic Burch, Connor Read, Michael Tran and James Stemp to open up big holes for his running backs, is thinking big in his final season.

“This feels great,” said Jusseaume. “Words can’t explain how cool this is.”

“As a coach, to see how hard these kids have worked over the last few years and not have those wins, I am so emotional inside,” said Mt. Ararat coach Frank True, whose Eagles will host Falmouth this upcoming Friday in the team’s final home game before visiting Morse on Oct. 25. “For the last three years, to not get a win and to get beat up by scores like 50-0, they have been so resilient to come back.”

Running back Jordan Castonguay picked up the load after teammate Bru Abreu went out with a leg injury on the Eagles’ first play from scrimmage. Castonguay sprinted inside and out through the Mariners defense for 200 yards on 19 carries, while Devin Monteiro chipped in 30 yards and a touchdown.

“We have depth and can fill roles pretty well, plus my linemen got me to the second level on several plays,” said Castonguay.

“Every back plays in different positions in practice, and when Bru went down, we inserted Jordan without missing a beat. We showed our poise,” said True.

After sitting out a series, Abreu, through hampered, returned, adding 69 yards, a TD and four 2- point conversions. The Eagles rushed for 295 yards in the game.

Momentum shifts

Mt. Ararat’s second drive ended with Monteiro sweeping left for a 12-yard TD run and an Abreu conversion run for an 8-0 Eagles lead after a quarter.

Oceanside (1-4) began a drive at its 40-yard line and ran 15 plays while eating up nearly seven minutes of the clock and picking up four first downs. However, the drive ended when Read sacked Mariners quarterback Hunter Grindle at the MTA-25.

“It fired up the defense when we stopped them. Our middle stepped it up against a tough team,” said Jusseaume.

Oceanside’s defense held downs, but the Mariners gave the ball right back on downs with the Eagles taking over near midfield with 47 seconds remaining until halftime.

True opened up the passing game, with quarterback Dylan Johnson finding Monteiro for a 26- yard gain to the O-29. Two plays later, Johnson threw to Alex LaFountain for a 29-yard TD strike with 30 ticks left on the clock and Abreu’s run made for a 16-0 halftime lead for the Eagles.

“We have never had a drive like that, and I just saw my receiver downfield,” said Johnson, who was 4-of-6 in the air for 73 yards. “That gave us a lot of momentum, knowing that if they were only down 8-0 at the half that they could have come back. We put the nail in the coffin there.”

“That was everything there, and I had a couple timeouts that I used to give us a chance,” said True. “We knew we were going to get the ball to start the second half. We stopped them on fourth down, and we used a couple of saved plays that worked really well.”

After a 25-yard kickoff return to begin the second half by Monteiro, Castonguay went 52-yards untouched for a 24-0 lead.

“That second half drive got us out of the halftime and really got us going,” said Castonguay.

Oceanside ran 31 plays in the second half and held the ball for over 15 minutes, but the Mariners failed to find the endzone as the Eagles consistently came up with big defensive plays.

“We wanted the shutout and to take that momentum for the rest of the season and see what happens,” said Jusseaume.

“We talked all week about the offense that they run, knowing that we had to read our keys and make some stops,” said True. “The kids did well, bent but didn’t break.”

Abreu’s 3-yard TD run late in the third quarter completed the 32-0 victory.

Garrett Burns led Oceanside with 75 yards on 16 tough carries, with Grindle chipping in 44 yards on 12 rushes. Burns had a teamhigh 10 tackles for the Mariners.

Nick Graney and Tran each had 11 tackles to pace the Mt. Ararat defense, with Jusseaume adding 10, and Caleb Hall and Read eight each. Castonguay completed his all-around night with an interception that ended an Oceanside fourth-quarter drive.

Mt. Ararat 32, Oceanside 0

At Topsham
Oceanside—0000–0
Mt. Ararat — 8 8 16 0 – 32
First quarter
MA — Devin Monteiro 12 run (Bru Abreu
run), 1:27.
Second quarter
MA — Alex LaFountain 29 pass from
Dylan Johnson (Bru Abreu run), :30.
Third quarter
MA — Jordan Castonguay 52 run (Bru
Abreu run), 11:42.
MA — Bru Abreu 3 run (Bru Abreu run),
3:20.
Records — Mt. Ararat 3-3, Oceanside 1-5.
Up next for Mt. Ararat — Friday at home
against 4-2 Falmouth, 7 p.m.


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