WATERVILLE — A slow start turned into the same old, same old for the Waterville Senior High School football team. The Purple Panthers used a strong running game and tough defense against the run to take a 50-20 win over Madison/Carrabec, improving to 6-0.

It wasn’t a clean game. The teams combined for seven personal fouls or other 15-yard penalties. Waterville, coming off a big win at Foxcroft Academy last week, was sluggish for most of the first quarter.

“It was kind of a sloppy game. I think we had to create some inspiration, but we ended up getting our act together,” Waterville coach Frank Knight said. “We have to learn how to play hard, no matter what.”

Once the Panthers got going, they rolled. Waterville scored on seven of their final eight possessions, the one non-scoring drive ending at the half. The Panthers ran for 276 yards, with Dalton Denis (10 carries, 127 yards) and David Bailey (11 carries for 59 yards) leading the way.

“They hit their holes hard, and everyone on the line does their job. We’re strong enough to get the holes open for them,” Waterville offensive lineman Ben Cox said. “Offseason work really helped us out, lifting and getting in shape so we can keep up with our blocks.”

Waterville got on the board with three minutes, 16 seconds left in the first quarter. Jordhan Levine slipped behind the Madison (0-6) defense for a 73-yard touchdown catch from Brian Bellows.

The Panthers increased their lead to 14-0 when Bailey scored on a 12-yard run and Bellows added the 2-point conversion. Dan Pooler’s 25-yard touchdown catch from Aidan FitzGerald made it 21-0 Waterville with 5:07 left in the first half.

Madison scored with 56.6 seconds left in the first half when John Vartanian caught a 12-yard fade from Chase Malloy in the right corner of the end zone, making it 21-6 at the half. The Bulldogs fumbled the third quarter kickoff, and Waterville converted the turnover into points on a 1-yard Denis run for a 29-6 lead.

“That’s not the way anyone wants to start the half, but I like the way we overcame adversity,” Madison coach Scott Franzose said. “The thing I’m proud of, to come down here and play a tough team in their house, they played with a lot of pride. We had our shots.”

A sophomore, Malloy was 11 of 16 for 153 yards passing. Malloy’s second touchdown pass to Vartanian (three catches for 56 yards) was a 30-yard pass early in the fourth quarter.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
[email protected]

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