After losing a heart breaker in their own homecoming game last week, the Gilford Golden Eagles bounced back in a big way, dropping the Fall Mountain Wildcats 41-0 at their own homecoming. On the road for the second time this season, the Golden Eagles faced adversity before their game even began. Their bus initially took a wrong turn resulting in the team arriving nearly an hour late and had several players suffering from road sickness. The tardiness forced the team into an abbreviated pregame warmup and to top it off, three defensive starters were not in the game at kickoff. All this seemed to do was liven up the team as they shut down the Wildcats in three plays and then proceeded to score on their opening drive as sophomore Jackson Spooner took an inside handoff and raced 31 yards for his first TD of the season. After that it was all Gilford as the offensive line led the way, allowing the team to gain 408 yards on the ground, behind Senior Max Troiano's career high 220 yards and 3 TDs on only 13 carries. Fellow senior Spencer Macevoy added a late TD on a 58 yard fullback dive to close out the offensive outburst.
After giving up the ball seven times in last week's loss to Newport, Gilford managed to control the ball in otherwise sloppy conditions. While playing in a constant rain, the Golden Eagles had no turnovers while recovering one of the Wildcats three fumbles. Junior Carter Mercer, the state's leading passer with over 600 yards and 8 TDs was limited to only three passes for no yards, but did take a miss-handled snap and hit Senior Kyle Gaudet for the two-point conversion after the team's initial TD. Head coach Shawn Garrett credited Mercer with excellent game management, controlling the tempo and using the clock efficiently. He added, "This was a game that we were looking to establish the inside run and establish a good offensive pace." The team accomplished both as they converted over half of their plays into either first downs or TDs and scored twice on runs between center and guard.
Special teams, led by first year coach Steve Pouliot, had their day too as Senior Bech Stecher took the Wildcat's lone kickoff 79 yards and a TD.
Much of the credit can be placed in the hands of the Gilford defensive as they shut out an opponent for the second time this season, limiting Fall Mountain to an impressive 6 total yards of
offense. The Wildcat QB was sacked 7 times and held to negative 52 rushing yards, with senior Sean Mulcahy pacing the defensive line.
Sophomore Dom Troiano, with two interceptions this season, looked to add another one on a sensational catch in the third quarter but the play was negated by an untimely holding call.
The Golden Eagles (3-1) will travel to Mascoma (2-2) next Saturday. Game time has been pushed back to 3:30 p.m. to accommodate SAT testing
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