Gariepy hits 1,000, Mahar crushes Monument, 40-8

Recorder Staff
Thursday, November 09, 2017

ORANGE — The Senators seem to have have found their stride.

Jon Gariepy eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on a first-half 40 yard touchdown run, part of a 166-yard night for the standout junior running back, as the Mahar Regional School football team steamrolled Monument Mountain Regional High School, 40-8, Thursday night in an MIAA assigned independent contest at the Woodward Complex.

The Senators (4-5) started the night with the ball and it did not take long for them to find the end zone. Starting at its own 35 yard-line, Mahar embarked on a seven-play, 65 yard drive — all runs — and shredded the Spartans defense en route to a Gariepy 1-yard scoring plunge with 7 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Gariepy would then run it in for the two-point conversion, and it was 8-0 Mahar.

On the first Monument Mountain possession, down by just the 8-0 score, the Spartans gambled on a fourth-and-3 from its own 30, and lost big. The Senators stuffed a run up the middle and took over on downs, setting up a short field for Mahar. A 25-yard Sam Paul run set up first-and-goal from the 5, after which senior Ryan Donaldson plowed into the end zone for a 14-0 Senators advantage, The two-point try failed, and the score stayed right there, but not for long. 

On the first play of the next Spartans possession, on which they were pinned at their own 12 yard-line, Hugo Frost recorded his second safety in as many weeks, as he pursued quarterback Caleb Carlson into the end zone, where he threw the ball away with no one in the area, and was called for intentional grounding, making it 16-0 Senators.

Mahar received the ensuing free kick, and a 15-yard return by Paul put the ball at the Monument 39. Four plays later, Gariepy scored again on a 4-yard scamper, with Donaldson adding the extra two. At the end of the first, it was 24-0, and the Senators and Gariepy were clicking on all cylinders.

It was more of the same in the second stanza. After Mahar forced a punt two plays into the quarter, Lucas Seney completed a seven-play, 68-yard drive when he bulled a 13-yard power run right up the middle. Gariepy added two more, and it was 32-0.

After a Charlie Barnes interception gave the ball back to the Senators three plays later at their own 10, Gariepy took over once more. rushing for 91 yards on the drive — which was made possible by a false start penalty and a four-yard loss — ending with the 40-yard score that put him at over 1,000 yards on the season.

"It feels great, and I still have another year left," said Gariepy. "I really can't believe it. A lot of credit goes to the offensive line."

Mahar head coach Chris Bailey agreed.

"Jon ran the ball great tonight, and he's done it all year," said Bailey. "I'm really proud of the line, too. They have done an excellent job, and I'm sure Jon would be the first be the first to tell you that."

Seney added the two-pointer after Gariepy's run, and Mahar was up 40-0 at the half. The Senators pulled their starters at the start of the third quarter, and neither Gariepy or Paul saw the field in the second half. 

Monument Mountain (4-5) avoided the shutout with a late fourth quarter touchdown, a 7-yard run by Carlson followed by a two-point pass to Taron Reiners, but that was all the Spartans could muster, and 40-8 was the final.

Mahar will have a chance to finish at .500 with a win against arch-rival Athol High School in the Turkey Day season finale. Mahar won a week three match-up with the Red Raiders in Athol, an 18-16 thriller that was decided by a 100-yard Gariepy kickoff return.

"As I told the players, this was a great win going into Thanksgiving," said Bailey. "I was a little worried going in that this might be a trap game, but they obviously did not let that happen." 

Kickoff for the Turkey Day tilt will be at 10 a.m. with Mahar hosting at the Woodward Complex.