GARDINER — The plan, Gardiner Area High School senior tailback Alonzo Connor said, was to show up and put Madison away early.

Thanks to Connor and stifling defense, Gardiner did just that, trouncing Madison 41-0 in a Pine Tree Conference Class B game Saturday at Hoch Field.

“We wanted to come in fired up and ready to go,” Connor said. “We wanted to play a full four quarters, and we proved we can do that.”

Did the Tigers (6-1) ever.

Connor rushed for 245 yards and four touchdowns — all in just three quarters of work.

Dennis Meehan threw a pair of touchdown passes to Justin Lovely, both on tipped balls in the first half, for Gardiner.

“We were more lucky than good, with the two tipped passes,” Gardiner coach Matt Burgess said. “But in the second half we came out and got the run game going.”
Added Lovely: “We wanted to put them away early and we did.”

Connor scored the only touchdown Gardiner would need when he rushed for a 7-yard score early in the first quarter. Lovely then hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Meehan on a play in which the ball was tipped by a defender and Gardiner senior Matt Hall.

“I happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Lovely said. “I was actually looking to make a tackle and the ball was right there.”

Connor rushed for a 15-yard touchdown and Lovely caught a 37-yard pass for a score in the second quarter to help the Tigers take a 27-0 lead into halftime.

“The two touchdowns on the tipped balls kind of deflated us a little bit,” said Madison coach Matt Friedman, whose team dropped to 2-5. “We had some opportunities but we couldn’t take advantage of the them.”

The Bulldogs struggled to move the ball against a tough Gardiner defense. They had 140 yards of total offense. Junior quarterback Danny Moreshead led the way with 56 rushing yards. Stephen Cusson (43 rushing yards) and Cody Saucier (28) also contributed to the ground game. Saucier also had eight tackles.

Ted Worthley led the Gardiner defense with three sacks.

Connor put the game out of reach with two touchdown runs in the third, from 37 and 27 yards.

“I had a couple of good runs,” he said. “I felt good. We drove the ball pretty good. We did what we wanted to (Saturday).”

Added Friedman: “Overall I thought we did a decent job. Later in the game we started to get tired a little bit.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640
[email protected]

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