THORNDIKE — If Marc Morneault is a little tired, the Stearns High School football team can hand the ball to Nick Dumas. If Dumas needs a breather, the Minutemen can go to Morneault.

“We both can run the ball. We need to just keep pounding it, north and south,” Morneault said.

The senior duo were on full display on Saturday afternoon at Mt. View. Morneault and Dumas combined to gain 350 of their team’s 374 yards from scrimmage, and Stearns made the long trip back home to Millinocket with a 41-20 Little Ten Conference win.

Morneault ran for 176 yards and three touchdowns, while Dumas ran for 174 and scored twice.

“When we got the game close, they didn’t get nervous. They didn’t get rattled. They just did what they do best, and that’s come right at you. They’re a good team,” Mt. View coach Haggie Pratt said.

With 18.1 seconds left in the third quarter, Mt. View cut Stearns’ lead to 28-20 on a 27-yard touchdown run by Tyler Ripley. The Minutemen (2-1) then scored a pair of late touchdowns to put the game away. Dumas scored on a 46-yard run with 4:02 to play, and with 1:29 to go, Morneault scored on a 13-yard run.

Mt. View (0-2) looked as if it would go into the half with some momentum, when quarterback Cole Hannan scored on a 5-yard run with 1:41 left in the second quarter to cut the Stearns lead to 21-14. Facing third-and-13 from their own 32, the Minutemen gave the ball to Morneault, who evaded a tackle and went 68 yards for a touchdown with 24 seconds left in the half.

“Coach (John Jamo) called the right play, and it ended up working. Zach Bouchard had a perfect pull. He went up 30 yards and had a nice block. I could just read it and that made it easy for me,” Morneault said.

The Mustangs took a 6-0 lead when Hannan connected with Ripley on a 30-yard touchdown pass on the game’s first drive. Stearns answered when quarterback Damean Newbury scored on a 4-yard run with 5:57 left in the first quarter.

Lost fumbles on back-to-back possessions set Stearns up to pull away, and the Minutemen capitalized with two more touchdowns in the first quarter. First, Morneault scored on an 11-yard run for a 14-6 lead. One play after Morneault recovered a Mustang fumble on the Stearns 35, Dumas went 65 yards for a score and a 21-6 lead.

Ripley had 81 yards rushing and 51 yards receiving for the Mustangs.

“We’re young. We’re really, really young,” Pratt said. “We do some good things, some really good things, but we’re just one injury away from something really bad happening.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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