AUGUSTA — It’s back to .500 for the Cony football team. And with authority.

Jordan Roddy hauled in 10 catches for 167 yards and a touchdown, Anthony Sousa threw two touchdown passes and ran for another and the Rams dominated Mt. Blue on homecoming at Alumni Field, 32-8.

And yet, in the moments following the game, there weren’t many jubilant shouts and cheers despite the numbers on the scoreboard. The Rams lost a pair of starters in Mike Wozniak and Jacob Mills to ACL tears in the win, and the mood afterward was clearly a somber one.

“It’s kind of a hollow victory,” coach B.L. Lippert said. “To get two (injuries) in the first half to two really impactful, about the best kids you could ever meet in your life, it kind of feels odd.”

The bad news overshadowed a night in which everything else for the Rams went perfectly. Cony moved the ball at will and shut down the Cougars’ run game, holding starting backs Randy Barker and Abram Meader to 46 yards on 21 carries.

“I think as we look back, we’ll be pretty happy with the win,” Lippert said. “We executed offensively, and I thought defensively we did a really good job tackling Abram Meader. He’s really a pretty good running back if you give him some space, and we really focused this week on making sure we tackled him, wrapped up, got a second and third hat on the ball.”

The Cougars couldn’t find another way down the field, which had coach Nate Quirion frustrated afterward.

“It was a listless performance on our part,” he said. “I want to apologize to the Mt. Blue fans and the Mt. Blue community for that performance. We didn’t lay down on defense, but we were listless on offense.”

The Rams had little trouble moving the ball in the first half. Finishing drives, however, was a different story. Cony marched from its 35-yard line to the Mt. Blue 2 on its first drive, but turned the ball over on downs after a dropped snap on third-and-goal forced a fourth down try from the 5.

The offense got a second try when the defense held the Cougars to a three-and-out, however, and this time the Rams needed only three plays to cover 54 yards. Sousa arced a pass on second-and-11 deep down the left sideline toward Eli Dutil, who was being covered one-on-one. The throw was short but Dutil adjusted, coming back to haul in the jump ball, tiptoeing to stay in bounds, then taking off for a 47-yard gain before being tackled at the 6-yard line. Logan Leadbetter capitalized from there, running it in for a 6-0 lead with 5:05 left in the first quarter.

Cony’s finishing woes resurfaced when it reached the Mt. Blue 7 on its next drive, only for an illegal man downfield penalty on the Rams to sap the momentum of a series that ended with a fourth-down incompletion from the 7. Penalties were on their way to derailing a fourth straight drive into the Cougars’ red zone when a pass interference call on Mt. Blue turned a fourth-and-7 from the 18 into first-and-goal from the 9, and Leadbetter took a shovel pass from Sousa and surged into the end zone for a 12-0 lead with 5:48 left.

Mt. Blue had chances to eat into the Rams’ lead, but turnovers ended each of its last three drives of the half. A pass from Noah Bell was batted into the air and intercepted by Mitchell MacFarland, setting Cony up for its second scoring drive, and the Cougars’ next series lasted only two plays before David Quimby lost a fumble after a 10-yard catch and run.

Mt. Blue crossed into Cony territory, going from its 16 to the Rams 41, in an effort to salvage points just before the half, but an interception by Matthew Wozniak in the closing seconds ensured the Cougars would head into the break scoreless.

Cony piled up the points in the second half. Sousa kept for a 5-yard score on the first drive of the half, making it 19-0, and Roddy took a sweep left for a touchdown from 4 yards out to make it 26-0 with 3:45 to go in the third.

Cony capitalized on its third drive, a five-play, 62-yard series, and finished it off with one of the night’s most impressive plays. Sousa faked a quick pass to the left, then lofted the ball downfield to a wide-open Roddy, who drifted back and hauled it in for a 29-yard touchdown grab and a 32-0 lead.

“We obviously had a lot to work on. He had never thrown a pass to me and I had never caught a pass from him,” Roddy, who also ran five times for 26 yards, said of his relationship with Sousa, in his first year as Cony’s starting quarterback. “It’s moving along, it’s been working.”

Sousa completed 24 of 32 passes for 320 yards in the victory.

“He’s so coachable. You tell him something once, and he learns from it,” Lippert said. “We have a lot of faith in him that he’s going to make the right decision, and tonight, I don’t know if he made a wrong decision at all.”

Mt. Blue broke onto the scoreboard with a 13-yard pass from Hunter Meeks to Kyle Heikkinen with 6.3 seconds left.

Misfortune struck Cony twice in the final five minutes of the second half. The first instance occurred during the Quimby fumble with 4:54 to go, as Mike Wozniak had to be helped off the field following the scrum at the end of the play. The second happened in the closing seconds, as Mills left the field after the Matthew Wozniak interception and spent the second half watching the game on crutches.

“At halftime, we had no enthusiasm despite being ahead,” Lippert said. “Our team knows how much they mean to us, and that’s going to hurt us for sure.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @donifantMTM

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