RUMFORD — It was a battle of defenses in the first half between Mountain Valley and visiting Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, but in the second half the Ramblers took advantage of great field position after turnovers and earned a 20-8 win in the last week of the regular season.

Mountain Valley received the opening kickoff and proceeded to orchestrate a 13-play drive to open the game. Unfortunately for the Falcons, Taylor Pelletier fumbled on the opponent’s 10-yard line and gave the ball to Win/Mon/HD.

The Ramblers could not get much doing after their first couple of first downs and were forced to punt.

After the Falcons moved it to the opponent’s 46-yard line, Jacob Blanchard fumbled a high snap on the first snap of the second quarter. On the ensuing run, however, Blanchard cut left, broke a tackle then cut back right and was free for a 67-yard touchdown run. Mountain Valley’s bruising full back Avery Bradeen punched in the two-point conversion to put the Falcons up 8-0.

It didn’t take the Ramblers long to fire back. Their next drive started when Beau Schmelzer returned the kickoff over 40 yards to the opposing 37. A 24-yard pass from quarterback Keegan Choate to Ryan Baird, one of four completions for Choate in the first half, was used to set up a 1-yard touchdown run from Jevin Smith to cut the lead to 8-6.

The opening kickoff by the Falcons was recovered on a surprise onside kick. An interception by WMHD defender Gavin Perkins just a couple plays later turned it back over to the Ramblers. Later in the quarter Choate broke three tackles in the backfield to run for a 14-yard gain on third down followed by a 20 yard run from Dylan Boynton to get into the red zone. In the red zone Mountain Valley suffered two face mask penalties which gave WMHD and Jevin Smith an easy 3 yard touchdown run to go up 12-8.

The ensuing kickoff was brought back over 50 yards to the Ramblers’ 29 but Mountain Valley was stopped on fourth down and one from the six.

The Falcons forced a punt and got the ball back once again but an unsportsmanlike penalty made it 4th and 7 and Mountain Valley turned it over on downs after a short pass with 3:30 remaining

It took just three plays for WMHD to score as Smith scored his third touchdown on the night, this time from 30 yards out. Choate completed the two-point conversion to take a 20-8 lead with just 1:48 remaining, sealing the game for the Ramblers.

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