AUGUSTA — The Cony football team’s offense took a while to hit its stride. The defense, meanwhile, was locked in from the opening snap.

Jamal Cariglia ran for 149 yards on 16 carries and scored twice, Riley Geyer added 118 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, and the Rams picked off three passes and kept Falmouth/Greely out of the end zone in a 27-3 victory at Alumni Field.

“The defense did a great job tonight,” said coach B.L. Lippert, whose team improved to 7-0. “Our pass defense is really good. They’ve got three or four really good receivers, and they made a few catches and runs, but for the most part we had them covered pretty well, and that was the task all night.”

The final score paints the picture of a game in which the Rams rolled over the Yachtsmen (3-4) right from the kickoff, but there was tension early on. Falmouth/Greely took a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter, marking Cony’s first time trailing all season, and midway through the second quarter the Rams had yet to put a point on the board.

“I was curious to see how we’d respond,” Lippert said.

He got his answer in the form of 27 unanswered points.

“We just had to come out with a lot more energy and punch them in the mouth,” said receiver and cornerback Adrian Larrabee, who had a touchdown reception and interception. “It felt different for us, but we were like we’ve got to come out here and play football.”

The Cony offense was rolling to start the game, marching from its 30-yard line to the Falmouth 24 in seven plays, but a Cariglia fumble allowed Falmouth/Greely’s Braden Bickford to rumble 55 yards before Geyer made a touchdown-saving tackle at the Cony 19.

The tackle loomed large on the ensuing Falmouth possession, as the Yachtsmen moved forward only 3 yards before Georgio Carrichio’s field goal for the 3-0 lead.

The Rams’ offense continued its choppy progress, making it to the Falmouth/Greely 17 before turning the ball over on downs, then stalling at the 50 before a 14-yard punt gave the Yachtsmen the ball at their own 36. The good field position lasted one play, with Geyer intercepting a Nick Mancini pass to give the Rams the ball back at the 50.

“We’re all fast, we get to the ball quick,” said senior defensive end Caleb MacFarland, part of a disruptive Cony front that swarmed Yachtsmen ballcarriers and harrassed quarterbacks Mancini and Cooper Bush. “We’ve just got to think we’ve got to bounce back, take what the offense gives us and stop them.”

This time, Cony locked in. The Rams embarked on a 14-play drive lasting 5:52, ending when Geyer charged in from a yard out for a 6-3 lead with 4:50 left in the half.

Looking for an answer, Falmouth/Greely took the ball down to the Cony 39, but Larrabee made an excellent read on a Mancini pass to pick it off and return it 23 yards to the Falmouth 47.

Larrabee said the interception was a product of film study.

“We were kind of deep, so I just broke on it as fast as I could,” he said. “I had to make a play. Good players make plays. I just thought I had to make a play to turn this game around.”

Held without a completion to that point, Geyer found his touch in time with 46.9 seconds left in the half. He hit Cariglia, who made an athletic leaping catch of a deep ball down the left side, for 34 yards, and after a sack, found Larrabee in the end zone over the middle. Larrabee drew an interference flag, but held on for a 15-yard touchdown reception and a 13-3 Cony lead with 15.3 seconds to go.

“They held me a little bit, but it’s football. You’ve got to go through with it and catch the ball,” Larrabee said. “I was a little scared when they called pass interference. They said ‘Not you,’ I said ‘Thank you.’ ”

The intermission did little to kill Cony’s momentum. Geyer hit Cariglia in stride for a 55-yard touchdown pass on the Rams’ first play from scrimmage, and Cariglia rounded out the scoring with a 1-yard run after a 17-yard scamper to make it 27-3 with 50.1 seconds left in the third.

“He really is a game-changer. He does some things that you really can’t coach,” Lippert said. “When he gets a head of steam going, he’s hard to tackle. And he’s a weapon in the pass game.”

It was also a return to form for Geyer, who started 0-for-5 but completed three of his next four passes for 104 yards.

“He struggled a little bit with some accuracy issues,'” Lippert said, “but when he needed to make some throws, (he did). The big one to start the half was right on the money.”

A Dakota Andow interception helped seal the outcome early in the fourth. It was an exclamation point for the defense, which forced three punts, caused three turnovers and another on downs, and held the Yachtsmen to 31 yards on 21 carries and 56 yards through the air.

“Just put your ears back and drive them down the field,” MacFarland said. “We got in the QB’s face and made him throw under pressure. … It was great all around.”

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