WATERVILLE — You can describe the Mt. Blue High School football team’s offense as a machine. Sometimes, the machine is slow to warm up.

That was the case Saturday afternoon, when the Cougars spotted Waterville a 14-point lead in the first quarter. But by the second quarter, Mt. Blue had gathered its wits on both sides of the ball. The Cougars took the lead for good late in the first half, then scored quickly and often in the third quarter to pull away with a 55-14 win.

“They’re taller. They’re bigger. They’re faster. We made a game of it. We just ran out of ammunition, and they had quite a bit of it,” Waterville coach Frank Knight said. “We put up a battle, and it slowly got away from us, and we couldn’t get back in it.”

Mt. Blue, now 7-1, will be the No. 2 seed in the Pine Tree Conference Class B playoffs. Waterville, 4-4, will be the No. 6 seed.

“We just weren’t prepared. There’s something about Saturday. We didn’t come ready and we had to get going. Once we got going, we got going,” Mt. Blue’s Cam Sennick, who had touchdown runs of 66 and 8 yards, said.

Waterville took the game’s opening drive 70 yards, scoring on a 5-yard run by Racean Wood. After J.T. Whitten returned an interception to the Mt. Blue 33, he scored on a 1-yard run to give the Panthers a 14-0 lead with 2 minutes, 28 seconds left in the first quarter.

“That’s what we had to do to win. We had to keep their plays short and make them work the clock to get up the field, and we had to drive the field methodically and end up with touchdowns. We did that a few times,” Knight said.

That ended the offensive highlights for Waterville, which gained five first downs in the first quarter, and four the rest of the game.

“Coach (Craig) Collins adjusted our ends more outside. That was one of the big things,” Mt. Blue coach Gary Parlin said. “Our end was getting sealed, but once he made that adjustment, we handled that little sweep and the belly a little better.”

The Cougars got on the board when Jordan Whitney hit Nick Hilton with a 23-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left in the first quarter. On it’s next possession, Mt. Blue needed just two plays to score, when Sennick broke away for his 66-yard run to tie the game.

With 1:25 left in the first half, Whitney connected with Chris Malone on a 46-yard touchdown pass, giving the Cougars a 21-14 halftime lead.

“You never hear about him, but he makes big plays. Chris is sort of an unsung hero on our team,” Parlin said.

Whitney threw two interceptions, but he completed 10 of 18 passes for 160 yards and four touchdowns, to four different receivers.

“We’ve had years where we’re top heavy, throwing to one guy, so the defense can rotate that way. You really can’t do that against us. You have to play us in a base defense,” Parlin said.

In the third quarter, the Cougars scored three offensive touchdowns while running just four plays. Eric Berry had a 68-yard touchdown run. After a 52-yard punt return by Nate Backus, Sennick scored on an 8-yard run.

Tight end Zak Kendall caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Whitney to push Mt. Blue’s lead to 41-14, and Bradley Jackson returned an interception 21 yards for a score to make it 48-14 with 4:21 left in the third quarter.

Jamie Brooks caught a 10-yard pass from Whitney to cap the scoring 42 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Whitten led Waterville with 29 carries for 94 yards.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]


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