October 13, 2012

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Messalonskee wins big

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

OAKLAND -- As much as the Messalonskee-Mt. Ararat football game was a mismatch on paper, it was even more so on the field Friday night.

The Eagles of Oakland stomped their namesakes from Topsham 68-7 in a Pine Tree Conference Class A game at Veterans Field.

And this one was over before many of the spectators had settled into the stands, some covering up in blankets to fend off the chill.

Corey McKenzie returned with a bang after missing the last two games with concussion-like symptoms. The junior running back rushed for 96 yards and four touchdowns on just six carries -- all in the first quarter.

"I had a lot of fun while I was in there," he said. "It wasn't even so much about scoring as it was just playing."

Messalonskee (6-1) did plenty of scoring to overwhelm undersized Mt. Ararat (0-7), which dressed just 27 players.

"It's tough," Mt. Ararat coach Frank True said. "They were just more physical than us."

Messalonskee, which clinched a PTC A playoff berth for the fifth consecutive season, scored on seven of first eight possessions to take a 55-0 lead at the half. The Eagles ran just 18 offensive plays in the first half, including the seven that went for scores. Messalonskee's worst starting field position of the opening half was its own 42-yard line.

Mt. Ararat, which has allowed 325 points -- the most in Class A -- in seven games, didn't crossed the 50-yard line until there was 1 minute, 25 seconds left in the second quarter.

Mt. Ararat had 38 net yards in the first half to go along with three turnovers that led to three Messalonskee touchdowns.

"We had a tough week after losing to Brunswick and we wanted to come and rebound with a victory," Messalonskee interim coach Chapin LaBelle.

Antonio Bellavance got things started when he intercepted a batted ball at the line of scrimmage and raced 14 yards for a touchdown just 13 seconds into the game.

Mt. Ararat turned the ball over on its next possession on another Jake Liedman interception, and again Messalonskee capitalized. McKenzie rushed for a 2-yard touchdown just four plays later and Messalonskee grab a 14-0 lead.

McKenzie would add touchdown runs of 7, 30 and 39 yards before the first quarter came to a close with Messalonskee up 34-0.

Dean Northup rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter. He finished with 61 rushing yards on just five carries.

Jake Dexter also rushed for a pair of touchdowns, including one for 59 yards early in the third quarter.

"It's good to get a win," McKenzie said. "It's been tough watching from the sideline so to come out and play and get a win, it feels good."

Bill Stewart -- 621-5640

bstewart@centralmaine.com

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