A Royal Feast: Mascoma Devours Lakers for First Victory of Season
Mascoma High defensive back Zach Pequita, right, can't prevent Interlakes-Moultonborough running back Nick Brothers from scoring Saturday in West Canaan. The Royals, however, won the NHIAA Division III game, 50-24. Valley News - Tris Wykes Purchase photo reprints »
Mascoma High's Andrew Cashe returns an Interlakes-Moultonborough punt for a touchdown Saturday during the Royals' 50-24 defeat of the Lakers in West Canaan. Valley News - Tris Wykes Purchase photo reprints »
Mascoma High defensive back Justin Marsh breaks up a pass intended for Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough's Nick Brothers during the teams' NHIAA game Saturday in West Canaan. The host Royals prevailed, 50-24. Valley News- Tris Wykes Purchase photo reprints »
West Canaan — The jubilant ladies at the Mascoma High concession stand were dishing out leftover chili for free Saturday in the aftermath of their Royals’ 50-24 defeat of visiting InterLakes-Moultonborough. It was a fitting culinary conclusion to an afternoon during which the hosts’ double-wing offense ate up the Lakers.
Mascoma rushed for 401 yards and allowed 294 while improving its record to 1-1. Coach Ray Kershaw said last week’s 36-22 loss at Winnisquam rid his troops of any possible complacency created by last year’s run to the NHIAA Division VI title game. InterLakes-Moultonborough won the 2009 and 2011 Division VI titles before moving up to Division V last fall. This year, however, the teams are back together in a reconfigured Division III.
“Last week’s defeat really helped us, because the coaches and players were riding the coattails of last year,” Kershaw said. “It was a wakeup call that let us know we’re really going to have to work for it again this year.”
Running back and linebacker Kyle Kosiorek said the team’s mode during the bus ride home from Winnisquam was “pretty silent.” The ensuing week of practice was not for the faint of heart, and featured fundamental instruction designed to improve the Royals’ blocking, mental intensity and physicality.
“We got beat up pretty bad at Winnisquam,” said Kosiorek, who carried 20 times for 159 yards and touchdowns of 45, 2 and 15 yards Saturday. “We only have one senior on the line, and because the new guys didn’t always know who to block, our plays were getting blown up in the backfield. Our defense didn’t do much better.”
Kosiorek said line coach Josh Kershaw went to work with the sophomore tandem of guard Brian Barrile and tackle Jordan Deford, having them focus on technique and power against hulking teammate Walt Hammond. That was preparation for even bigger InterLakes-Moultonborough lineman Alec Beauchemin, a 2012 all-state player, and some similarly-sized Lakers.
“They’re a big and very physical team, and we’d never beaten them,” Ray Kershaw said.
The last time the schools clashed on the gridiron, in October 2010, the Lakers won 35-6. Mascoma fell 41-6 during the previous year’s matchup and by a 40-14 score in 2008.
With that in mind, the Mascoma faithful were downright giddy after the Royals built leads of 13-0 and 21-6 during Saturday’s first quarter. The Lakers pulled within 21-12 when an up back fielded what appeared to be an unintentional pooch kickoff along the left sideline and rumbled 68 yards up the boundary for a touchdown. Mascoma hadn’t surrendered such a strike since 2011.
Thoughts of a Laker comeback began to fade, however, when Mascoma quarterback Justin Marsh ran for an 18-yard touchdown and completed a conversion pass to Kosiorek for a 29-12 lead two minutes into the second quarter.
Four plays later, the Royals’ Brandon White intercepted a pass and returned it 20 yards. Five plays after that, Shane Pierce ran for a 32-yard touchdown and Marsh’s conversion kick made the score 36-12.
“We scored 22 points last week even though we had four turnovers,” Ray Kershaw said. “Today, we only had one and it was on a bad (center) snap.”
Mascoma’s Shane Pierce carried 25 times for 154 yards and touchdowns of 32 and 9 yards. Andrew Cashe returned a fourth-quarter punt 34 yards for a touchdown and carried four times for 42 yards. Marsh completed 1-of-3 passes for 38 yards, the connection coming with Kosiorek, and ran three times for 24 yards and a touchdown.
The Lakers were led by Devante Carter, who ran 19 times for 160 yards and a touchdown. Nick Brothers carried 10 times for 48 yards and a score, while Kier Vicente completed 2-of-8 passes for 11 yards and had one toss intercepted.
Mascoma doesn’t play this week before traveling to Farmington-Nute (0-1) on Sept. 28. The Royals host Stevens a week later.
Tris Wykes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3227.
To see more photographs, follow this link.