Sweet revenge

Eagles top I-L/MA in title game rematch

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Gilford senior tailback Max Troiano (36) gets to the outside with a pair of I-L/MA tacklers in pursuit during the Golden Eagles' 33-7 victory on Saturday at the Meadows. Stephen Greenwood. (click for larger version)
October 20, 2014
GILFORD Needless to say, this one was circled on the calendar.

One year after falling at home in the Division III North Conference championship game, the Gilford High School football team finally got another crack at Lakes Region foe Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough on Saturday. This time, the Eagles left nothing to chance.

Behind a balanced offensive attack that saw its best offensive players make big plays when needed, Gilford jumped out to a big halftime lead and never looked back in a 33-7 victory over the visiting Lakers at the Meadows.

"The defense did a very nice job of containing the run," said GHS head coach Shawn Garrett of his team's dominating win. "We approached the game with the focus on keeping them inside the tackles. The matchup worked, as time and again, they ran into (middle linebacker) Dave MacDonald, a senior that no one wants to hit twice."

MacDonald also got the job done on offense, as he put the Eagles up 7-0 with a one-yard touchdown run just 2:48 into the first quarter. Spencer McEvoy kicked the extra point.

Less than four minutes later, that lead doubled to 14-0 when junior quarterback Carter Mercer hit senior Kyle Gaudet for a 12-yard touchdown pass. Mercer threw for 125 yards on 10 completions.

The lead would grow to 21-0 in the second quarter, with tailback Max Troiano running one in from nine yards out. The Eagles would carry that three score advantage into halftime.

Troiano added his second rushing TD of the afternoon in the third quarter to make it 27-0 before I-L/MA finally got on the board behind a 71-yard touchdown run from Malik Carter to cut the deficit to 27-7.

But Gilford put things away for good with authority on the ensuing possession. On the first play from scrimmage, Gaudet rushed for a 59-yard TD, and the Eagles held that lead for the 33-7 final.

"Aside from their big touchdown run, we were able to hold (I-L/MA) to 54 yards rushing on 38 carries," Garrett said.

Troiano went over 100 yards with 153 on 18 carries, and he added 62 yards receiving on three catches. Gaudet had 106 yards of total offense , while MacDonald (nine carries, 41 yards) and Braedon Lacroix (two receptions, 16 yards) also chipped in.

"Their defense did a nice job of containing our passing game, limited it to short passes, primarily outside," Garrett said.

The win moved Gilford to 5-1 overall on the season, tied for the best record in the North Conference with Newport, though the Tigers did beat the Eagles already this season. The final regular season home game for the Eagles is slated for this Saturday, as Newfound (0-6) comes to town for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

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