WATERVILLE — For Oceanside High junior Aidan Munro, just playing in Saturday’s season opening football game against Waterville was a victory.

Considering that he couldn’t get out of bed last fall, playing such a pivotal role in the Mariners’ 34-6 triumph was extra special.

Munro missed all of the 2018 season as he fought colitis, a digestive disease that wreaked havoc on his body.

“Basically, my colon shifted over to the other side. I was in bed for three, four months. I didn’t eat for quite a few weeks,” Munro said.

“I’ve been in the gym, working all summer, and here we are.”

Munro estimated he dropped from 160 pounds to 120. When he was finally healthy, he hit the gym to regain his weight and add muscle.

On Saturday, Munro had four catches for 195 yards, scored on catches of 69, 2 and 56 yards, and added a 2-point conversion for the Mariners, who broke open a close game with a pair of late touchdowns.

Munro’s first touchdown came with 1:15 left in the first half, moments after Waterville’s Anthony Singh tied the game at 6-6 with a 32-yard run. Munro sprinted down the left sideline, outjumped a Waterville defender for the pass from Karl Ilvonen and went 69 yards for the go-ahead score.

“The kid played great coverage. I jumped up and caught it, and all I saw was green after that,” Munro said.

Munro’s second touchdown came with 2:04 left in the third quarter. He ran a simple slant from the left of the formation and caught Ilvonen’s 2-yard pass to make it 20-6.

That touchdown came after Oceanside made the most important defensive stop of the game. Waterville took the second half kickoff and mounted a drive that last more than 7 minutes, but the Purple Panthers were stopped on downs at the 10. Two plays later, Munro turned a short Ilvonen pass into a 68-yard gain.

Facing third-and-26 from its own 44 with just over 5 minutes remaining, Oceanside went to Munro again. This time, he caught a slant from the left side and evaded a group of defenders to spring free for a 56-yard touchdown.

“I just told Karl to throw it to me, even if I’m covered, and I’ll do something. I found a hole and ran and scored,” Munro said.

For many Waterville players, this game was an introduction to varsity football. Injuries took a bite from the team’s already limited depth, and it showed as Waterville wore out in the fourth quarter.

“We’re really proud of our guys … What you saw was guys earning their stripes at the varsity level. We’re proud at how the guys stepped up,” Waterville Coach Matt Gilley said. “It was a conditioning day for some of these guys. It was, holy cow, this is the speed of high school football for some of these guys.

“Oceanside’s got some athletes over there, and they were sending guys like crazy on offense.”

Oceanside capped the scoring when freshman Zeke Miller (three carries, 101 yards) scored on a 59-yard run with 2:39 remaining.

It was Miller’s second long touchdown, after he opened the scoring with a 45-yard run in the second quarter.

Singh ran for 73 yards for Waterville, while Trafton Gilbert added 71 yards on the ground.

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