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Warriors run past Vikings

BUCKLAND — Doug McCloud will always remember his first game as head coach at Mohawk Trail Regional High School.

The game itself? Not so memorable.

The Warriors dominated Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School, which was making its varsity debut, scoring 38 points in the first quarter alone before finally settling on a 54-14 Tri-County League victory before a large crowd at Pollard Field.

Mohawk was making its debut in the TCL after formerly playing in the Intercounty League. The Vikings, who are in their first season of football and decided to bypass playing a junior varsity schedule this season, were no match.

Smith Voke’s first six possessions ended in turnovers, with five leading to touchdowns. When Mohawk played its starters, the Warriors outscored Smith Voke 54-0 and held the Vikings to minus-34 yards on its first 11 offensive plays.

Mohawk scored on its first play from scrimmage when Stephen Reynolds took a handoff from the 50-yard line and went down the right side of the field for a score. The Vikings fumbled on their second play from scrimmage, and it took Mohawk five plays before Billy Gray scored on a 5-yard rush. Luke Looman then intercepted a pass and returned it 28 yards to paydirt to put Mohawk up 22-0 with 5:59 left in the first quarter. Luke Bissell scored the team’s next touchdown on a 1-yard run, and quarterback Andrew Doty scored on a 10-yard run to make it 38-0 with 2:04 left in the period.

Mohawk picked up two points on a botched punt by Smith Voke that led to a safety to start the second quarter, and Alex Dekoschak caught a 5-yard pass from Doty to make it 46-0. Mohawk’s final points of the day came when Keith Whitaker scored on a 26-yard run in the second quarter.

“You know what, I’m real proud of our kids,” McCloud said of the win. “And I really think our younger kids did a good job when they got into the game.”

Smith Voke got to celebrate the program’s first-ever touchdown with 2:48 left in the third quarter when quarterback Elijah Salaam hit tight end Cullen Pike with a 9-yard pass that Pike caught around the 2. Pike turned and just broke the goal line when the ball was jarred free by a Mohawk defender and went through the back of the end zone. The play was initially ruled a touchback, but after a brief conference, the officials signaled a touchdown and the Viking bench and fans erupted into celebration. Cam Van Buren completed the scoring with a 2-yard run 1:41 into the final quarter. Pike caught the 2-point conversion from reserve quarterback Jared Pease.

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