While Saturday afternoon’s season-opening football game did not turn out as the host Mustangs might have liked, Mount View’s battle with John Bapst of Bangor certainly was remarkable. The ‘Stangs fought hard before losing to the Crusaders 37-26 after trailing 37-0 at the end of the third quarter.

“We have a lot of younger kids that are doing the right things,” Mount View coach Jack Brady said, “They are trying to make the adjustments. They are listening to what we are saying and they are buying in. Hopefully every week we are going to be a better football team.”

Perhaps more important was the fact that Saturday’s contest was the first home game Mount View has hosted. The Mustangs’ home games had been held in Belfast in recent years, but Mustang home games now will be at Larrabee Athletic Field in Knox. The field is in the same complex where the Mustangs play softball and youth sports are held.

John Bapst jumped to a 30-0 halftime lead. Jordan Charpentier passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third in the first half. He hit Lucas Philippon with a 31-yard pass  and Sean O’Donnell with a 30-yard scoring play, and also rushed 11 yards for a score.
Jacob Moore added a five-yard scoring run for John Bapst, while Mark Dieuveuil kicked a 35-yard field goal.

The Crusaders added a third-quarter score on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Deven Romain to Kurt Massey.

Mount View scored all 26 of its points in the fourth quarter. Backup quarterback Jalen Babin threw two touchdown passes, one to Erick Nealley and one to Craig Nealley, while Joe White scored on a six-yard run and Craig Nealley returned a fumble 27 yards for a score.

“That’s a skill you cannot teach,” said coach Brady of Craig Nealley’s play to recover the fumble and return it for a score. “Kids either have that or they don’t.”

In rushing, Babin had seven carries for 33 yards; Adrian Melton, four for eight yards; and White, one for six yards and a touchdown. In passing, Santana was 2-of-6 for minus-five yards and Babin 4-of-12 for 65 yards and two touchdowns.

In receiving, Erick Nealley had two catches for 18 yards and a touchdown, Craig Nealley a catch for 20 yards and a touchdown and Taylor Reynolds a two-point conversion. Will Nunn had one kick return for 23 yards and Melton three for 82 yards.

Babin and Andrew Gibbs both recovered fumbles, while Craig Nealley had a fumble recovery he returned 27 yards for a score. Erick Nealley had a punt return for no yards and Reynolds punted five times for 192 yards.

Defensively, Craig Nealley had eight tackles; Santana, six and a half; Sebastian LaForge and Babin, both four and a half; Ricky Moulton and Jake Blanchette, both three and a half; Gibbs, three; Ben Korman, White and McGray, all two; Mike Robinson and Adrian Melton, both one and a half; and Zac Mosher, Chris Cole, Will Nunn and Justin Sigouin, all one.

Brady said he has a young but talented team that he hopes will get the experience necessary to notch plenty of wins. For this game, though, it seemed as if senior Erick Nealley stood out. However, while Erick Nealley certainly looked strong overall, coach Brady commended junior Babin, who came into the game after starting quarterback Santana sustained an injury.

“He came in and did a great job,” Brady said of Babin.

Brady hopes to see strong play from his squad with the use of the new field. Now that the team can host games coach is looking for “more continued success,” he said. “There is much less time involved in playing a home game then playing an away game,” he said. “The less time that there is prior to the start of the game the more focused kids will be.”

The coach said it is difficult to get off the bus and play well, which Mount View used to do for road games and “home” contests played in Belfast. “It was very good for us to be able to be the home team for a change,” he said. “We have been the away team, even for the home games, for our first three seasons. It’s great for us to be able to do that.”

The scoring included:

John Bapst — Philippon 31-yard pass from Charpentier (Dieuveuil kick)
John Bapst — Charpentier 11-yard run (Dieuveuil kick)
John Bapst — Dieuveuil 35-yard field goal
John Bapst — Moore 5-yard run (rush failed)
John Bapst — O’Donnell 30-yard pass from Charpentier (Dieuveuil kick)
John Bapst — Massey 10-yard pass from Romain (Dieuveuil kick)
Mount View — White 6-yard run (rush failed)
Mount View — E. Nealley 9-yard pass from Babin (Reynolds pass from Babin)
Mount View — C. Nealley 20-yard pass from Babin (rush failed)
Mount View — C. Nealley 27-yard fumble return (rush failed)

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.