Mount St. Michael handles St. Francis Prep for first win

Mount St. Michael came out like a team a mission and played a strong all-around game to earn its first victory of the season.

The Mountaineers topped visiting St. Francis Prep in decisive fashion, 39-13, last Saturday in a CHSFL game. Mount did two things Saturday it hadn’t been able to do all year. It put up big points on the scoreboard and limited its turnovers.

“This was a really big win for us,” Mount’s senior running back Jean-Louis Woodley said. “We had a tough start to our season. The one thing we had our coaches telling us all week was to come out and get that first win. I think this could be what we need to turn around our season.”

Early on in the game it looked liked it was going to be a defensive battle as both teams struggled to move the ball at all for most of the first quarter. In the waning seconds of the period, Mount’s senior quarterback Darius Hodges ran a keeper up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown to help give his team a 8-0 lead. The score opened up the floodgates for the Mountaineers (1-4, 1-3).

They would score again midway through the second quarter on a gutsy play call on fourth-and-seven at the Prep 25-yard line. Mount ran an option play as Hodges pitched the ball to senior Carl Hoyte for a touchdown run. Mount added another score before halftime when Hodges heaved the ball in the air downfield to senior wide receiver Julian Massiah for a 53-yard score as time expired. Mount went into the half leading 24-0.

Woodley opened up the third quarter with a 20-yard burst up the middle for the score, putting the game seemingly out of reach at 31-0. The turnover bug looked as if it was going to come back and bite Mount. St. Francis Prep recovered fumbles on consecutive drives and returned both for touchdowns to cut the Mountaineers to 31-13 late in the third quarter.

Woodley ended the Terriers comeback by punching the ball in for a 13-yard score and put the game out of reach at 39-13 in the waning minutes of the third quarter.

It wasn’t all good news for Mount as senior running back Max Rillen limped off the field in the first quarter and didn’t return to action. Valentini said after the game that he will be checked out and his status will be determined day by day.

Mount did have their best performance of the season even with him out, but there is always room to get better.

“It’s always important to get that first win and get the kids some confidence,” Valentini said. “Hopefully we can build on this and keep the momentum going.”

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