Mountaineers roll to state title
Pop Warner squad now heads to New England tournament
THE MWV Mountaineers pose with the state championship trophy after their win Wednesday in Concord. (click for larger version)
November 14, 2011CONCORD — Some times, experience doesn't matter.
In just its second year in existence, the Mountaineers Pop Warner squad captured the Patriot League state championship on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and earned a shot to continue the season.
The Mountaineers entered the final game having lost just once on the season and took on the Seacoast Titans in the championship game at Concord's Memorial Field.
The Mountaineers wasted little time getting on the board, scoring on the first possession and never looking back on the way to a 14-0 win.
The running of Devan Bynoe and Nick Sherwood provided the bulk of the offense on the night and that was also the case on the first drive, as the two backs carried the ball up the field. Bynoe broke free for a 29-yard run on second and 18 and then Sherwood plowed in from three yards out just more than five minutes into the game for the first points of the game, giving MWV a 6-0 lead.
The defense then stood strong, holding Seacoast to a three and out, with Sherwood and Garrett Brown both getting in the backfield for sacks of the Seacoast quarterback.
Both teams went three and out on their next drive, with Ben Kelly getting a nice block on Seacoast's punt. The Mountaineers then took their third possession to the end of the first quarter, with Sherwood and Bynoe again carrying the load.
Quarterback Will Pollard had a key 13-yard carry on the third play of the second quarter, which set up a four-yard touchdown run for Bynoe just more than a minute and a half into the second quarter.
Kherry Rober-Donovan then booted the ball through the uprights for two points (a typical two-point conversion is only worth one point in Pop Warner, while kicking is worth two) and it was 14-0 in favor of the Mountaineers.
Good defense from Pollard and Theo Scarlett and a sack from Kyle Bennett helped end Seacoast's next drive, but a fumble by the Mountaineers gave the Titans the ball back five plays later.
Seacoast was able to move the ball up the field a bit, but Sherwood got in the backfield for a key stop and Kelly and Scarlett also had a stop. A Seacoast fumble was recovered by the Mountaineers with just more than a minute to play in the half, but the team couldn't get down the field and took the 14-0 lead to halftime.
Seacoast opened the second half with a lengthy drive that ate up a good chunk of the clock. Dominic Brown-Gilmore got in the backfield for a nice stop and Scarlett and company came up with a big stop on fourth and six to give the Mountaineers the ball for the first time in the second half.
The Mountaineers then did some eating of the clock on the other side, moving the ball up the field on the strength of Bynoe and Sherwood. Pollard also hit Bynoe on a screen pass for a big pickup, but that was nullified by a penalty.
On fourth and 12, the Mountaineers were called for pass interference and the quarter closed down with Seacoast taking over.
However, the Mountaineers recovered a fumble on the second play of the quarter to get the ball back. Bynoe and Sherwood again carried the load, with Hunter Bousquet also getting in on the action, but a fumble deep in the red zone gave the Titans the ball back.
Seacoast answered with a nice drive, but good defense from Brown-Gilmore, Scarlett, Kelly and Bennett helped the Mountaineers to get the ball back and they were able to run out the clock on the 14-0 win.
The team plays again on Nov. 20 when they travel to Fitchburg, Mass. to take on the Worcester Vikings.
The MWV Mountaineers include Brian Dodd, Kyle Bennett, Dante Aquino, Bowen Wales, Dominic Brown-Gilmore, Devin Wileman, Christopher Chase, Nikolas Badger, Ryan Stevens, Richard White, George Hofmann, Garrett Furnbach, Joseph Knox, Nick Sherwood, Theo Scarlett, Will Pollard, Adam Martinese, Nicholas Armstrong, Devan Bynoe, Garrett Brown, Ben Kelly, Hunter Bousquet and Kherry Rober-Donovan.
The team's head coach is Andy Pepin, who earned the state Coach of the Year honors for guiding the Mountaineers to the state championship in just their second year.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126