WATERVILLE — For Oceanside junior Aidan Munro, just playing in Saturday’s season opening football game against Waterville was a victory. For a kid who last season couldn’t get out of bed, playing such a pivotal role in the Mariners’ 34-6 win was extra special.

Munro missed all of last season as he fought colitis, a digestive disease that wreaked havoc on his body.

“Basically my colon shifted over to the other side. I was bed for three, four months. I didn’t eat for quite a few weeks,” Munro said. “I’ve been in the gym, working all summer, and here we are.”

Munro estimated he dropped from 160 pounds to 120. When he was finally healthy, Munro hit the gym to regain the weight lost and add muscle. The work to return to football paid off big time Saturday. Munro had four catches for 195 yards, scored on touchdown catches of 69, 2, and 56 yards, and added a 2-point conversion for the Mariners, who broke open a close game with a pair of late fourth quarter touchdowns.

Munro’s first touchdown came with 1:15 left in the first half, moments after Waterville’s Anthony Singh tied the game at 6-6 with a 32-yard touchdown run. Sprinting down the left sideline, Munro outjumped a Waterville defender for the Karl Ilvonen pass and went 69 yards for the go ahead score.

“The kid played great coverage. I jumped up and caught it, and all I saw was green after that,” Munro said.

Munro’s second touchdown came with 2:04 left in the third quarter. Munro ran a simple slant from the left of the formation, catching Ilvonen’s two yard pass to give the Mariners a 20-6 lead. The touchdown came after Oceanside made the most important defensive stop of the game. Waterville took the second half kickoff and mounted a seven minute, 34 second drive, but stalled and lost the ball on downs on the Mariner 10. On the second play of the ensuing possession, Munro turned a short Ilvonen pass into a 68-yard gain, breaking tackles to set up the scoring chance.

Facing third down and 26 from its own 44, Oceanside went to Munro again with just over five minutes left in the game. This time he caught another slant from the left side, and evaded a group of Waterville defenders to spring down the right sideline for a 56-yard touchdown and a 28-6 lead with 5:03 to play.

“I just told Karl to throw it to me, even if I’m covered, and I’ll do something. I found a hole and ran and scored,” Munro said.

For many Waterville players, this game was an introduction to varsity football. Injuries took a bite from the Purple Panthers already limited depth, and it showed as Waterville wore out in the fourth quarter.

“We’re really proud of our guys.. What you saw was guys earning their stripes at the varsity level. We’re proud at how the guys stepped up,” Waterville coach Matt Gilley said. “It was a conditioning day for some of these guys. It was, holy cow, this is the speed of high school football for some of these guys. Oceanside’s got some athletes over there, and they were sending guys like crazy on offense.”

Oceanside capped the scoring when freshman Zeke Miller (three carries for 101 yards) scored on a 59-yard run with 2:39 to play. It was Miller’s second long touchdown of the day, after he opened the scoring with a 45-yard run with 5:27 left in the second quarter to give the Mariners a 6-0 lead.

“For three and a quarter quarters, we were there. We just stalled out,” Gilley said.

Singh ran for 73 yards for Waterville, while Trafton Gilbert added 71 yards on the ground for the Panthers.

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