RUMFORD — Camden Hills had the last say in an 8-man Large North football game that featured little scoring but plenty of defense and game-changing plays.

William Haslam’s touchdown pass to Cameron Lawrence with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter delivered the Windjammers a 20-16 win over Mountain Valley on Friday night at Chet Bulger Field.

Haslam and the Camden Hills (4-0) passing attack rebounded from throwing a fourth interception earlier in the fourth quarter to deliver the game-winning score.

“That’s what we just talked about at the end of the game, that that’s the most character I’ve seen out of our quarterback, to have those four picks but then still come back and throw the game-winning touchdown,” Camden Hills coach Chris Christie said. “Just shows a lot of character.”

After the Falcons (2-2) went three-and-out following the fourth pick, the Windjammers needed just two plays to score. The second play was Haslam’s 23-yard strike to Lawrence. Haslam then connected with Hollis Schwalm for the two-point conversion with 1:24 left.

Mountain Valley’s last-ditch effort lasted six plays before a fourth-down stop by Camden Hills just inside Windjammers territory.


“I thought throughout the game we put ourselves in position to take the game,” Mountain Valley coach Patrick Mooney said. “And that’s nothing against Camden Hills, but we were there, and we had two minutes to go — all we had to do was run the football, control the clock, do the little things, and it was just kind of a theme throughout the day that we just couldn’t establish consistency.”

The Falcons’ fourth-quarter interception was made by Seneca Jones. Kaden Paaso had the other three picks, and he forced a fumble.

Paaso ended each of the Windjammers’ two possessions in a fast-moving third quarter with interceptions. The first came in the end zone three plays after Rilan Farnum stopped Lawrence at the 2-yard line on a 68-yard gain off a pass from Haslam.

Mountain Valley’s Jyrrmal Yates was injured during Paaso’s interception return and didn’t return. That left the Falcons without their all-conference safety and halfback, who had 13 carries in the first half.

“That’s hard. Eight-man football, we have 36 kids on the team, and 14 are freshmen. So any injury to any starter really kind of magnifies your depth,” Mooney said. “… Losing (Jyrrmal) is a void, no doubt.”

Mooney did praise Jones, who stepped into Yates’ roles on offense and defense. In addition to his late interception, Jones had six carries for 62 yards on the Falcons’ go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter.


Paaso’s second pick of the third period was a diving grab off a bobbled catch attempt by Camden Hills.

The Falcons started their ensuing drive in Windjammers territory, but five plays later Dylan Lowe picked up a Mountain Valley fumble and ran 45 yards for a defensive touchdown to put Camden Hills in front in the fourth quarter. The Falcons stopped the two-point run to keep the score at 12-8.

The lead didn’t last long. The Falcons marched 85 yards to a touchdown on their next drive, capped off by Paaso’s 10-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion run to give Mountain Valley an 16-12 lead midway through the final quarter.

“I mean, it could have gone either way. I thought we took some momentum back (after Paaso’s end-zone interception). There was a lot of momentum swings,” Mooney said. “Just in the end, the more disciplined team won.”


The teams spent the first quarter trading ill-fated possessions.


The Falcons drove inside the Windjammers’ 30-yard line on each of their first two possessions, only for bad snaps to give the ball to Camden Hills both times.

Mountain Valley made up for it on defense. Paaso intercepted a pass on Camden Hills’ first possession, then the Falcons’ defense sniffed out a fake punt on the next drive.

Camden Hills countered by picking off the Falcons’ first pass attempt of the game late in the first quarter, but the Windjammers went three-and-out and punted the ball back to Mountain Valley.

The Falcons’ ensuing drive spilled into the second quarter, then fizzled out and forced their first punt.

The defense came up big on the next play, with Paaso forcing a fumble that Farnum recovered at the Windjammers’ 14-yard line.

Two plays later, a would-be touchdown run by Paaso was called back due to a holding penalty, but Lucas Libby ran in from 22 yards out on the next play. Paaso converted the two-point conversion run for an 8-0 Mountain Valley lead.


Camden Hills answered with a 77-yard drive that ended with a Haslam 6-yard touchdown pass to Lowe. The two-point pass failed, keeping the Falcons in the lead at 8-6.

The defenses stood tall on the next two possessions. Hollis Schwalm intercepted a Mountain Valley pass, but Libby stopped Haslam just short of a first down on fourth down four plays later.

Mountain Valley’s final possession of the half ended at midfield.

Christie said he didn’t have any special halftime speech for the unbeaten Windjammers, other than to trust each other and the conditioning that Camden Hills has put in to be a strong second-half team. The ‘Jammers were also well-prepared mentally and emotionally.

“Our theme so far is ‘believe,'” Christie said. “We just kind of believe in each other, and believe in what we’re doing and believe in the coaches, and just kind of keep battling. You know, we’ve played four great opponents. This North division is really tough.”

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