While only an early-season game, Friday’s night’s Little Ten Conference Class C battle between host Rockland and Mount View of Thorndike under the lights on Wasgatt Field was important for at least one important reason.

Namely, it was an opportunity for both squads, which split their first two regular-season games, to grab momentum as they move forward in effort to make a potential playoff run.

On this night, the hosts ruled the gridiron, as Rockland tackled an impressive and convincing 36-6 victory. The Tigers used a methodical and effective offense and bend-but-do not-break defense to upend the Mustangs.

The home-standing Tigers dominated most of the first half in building a 21-0 lead. However, the gritty Mustangs battled back in the second half to put themselves in reach for a possible comeback, starting with a third-quarter touchdown.

However, Rockland regained the momentum and tallied 15 unanswered points to cruise to its second win of the young campaign.

Rockland scored 14 points in the first quarter, seven in the second and 15 in the fourth. Mount View tallied six points in the second stanza.

Dan Hendricks hauled in four of Rockland’s five completions for two touchdowns and 85 yards to help lead the Tigers. For Rockland, Sam Meklin completed 5-of-9 of passes for 93 yards. Derek Miller also gained 54 yards on 23 carries.

For the visiting Mustangs, Aaron Santana completed 7-of-23 passes for 97 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions. Erick Nealley had two catches for a touchdown and 54 yards.

Tiger defensive tackle Seth Batty turned in a superb all-around effort and recorded his first interception, while teammates Dan Hendricks an  Matt Zable both had interceptions.

Rockland scored with 7:23 left in the first quarter when Miller scampered eight yards for the touchdown and Don Prescott caught the two-point conversion pass to make it 8-0.

The Tigers made it 14-0 when Hendricks caught a 32-yard pass from Miller for a score with 54 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

After Batty made an interception for the Tigers with 7:58 left in the second quarter, Rockland had the ball on the Mount View 22-yard line. However, the Mustangs held before disaster struck when a Mount View running back had the ball ripped from his arms and Sam Meklin eventually recovered the loose ball in the end zone with 5:26 remaining to make it 20-0. Tiger David Harrison converted the extra-point kick to give the hosts a 21-0 lead at halftime.

Mount View moved the ball some in the first half, including late in the second quarter, but Hendricks made an interception to stall one potential Mustang scoring drive.

Mount View climbed within 21-6 with a score on a 32-yard pass from Santana to Nealley with 7:32 left in the third. The two-point conversion pass failed.

Rockland continued its solid offensive effort in the fourth quarter as Sam Meklin connected for a 47-yard scoring pass to Hendricks with 11:32 left. Harrison made the two-point conversion pass to Joe Nelsen.

The Tigers finished the scoring with Jared Meklin’s 20-yard run with 2:55 left. Harrison kicked the extra point.

Rockland rushed 45 times for 126 yards, led by Miller (23 carries for 84 yards, touchdown), Jared Meklin (7 carries for 33 yards) and Nelsen (4 carries for 20 yards).

The Tigers completed 6-of-10 passes for 125 yards, two touchdowns and two two-point conversions. Sam Meklin completed 5-of-9 for 93 yards, plus a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Miller completed his only pass for 32 yards and a touchdown. Harrison had a two-point conversion pass to Don Prescott.

Hendricks had four catches for 85 yards and two scores, Don Prescott made one catch for six yards and two points and Harrison a reception for 34 yards.

Nelsen had two kick/punt returns for 47 yards.

Mount View rushed 26 times for 68 yards, led by Nate Sigouin with 11 carriers for 32 yards and Jalen Babin four carries for 25 yards,

Santana completed 7-of-23 passes for 97 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Nealley made two catches for 54 yards and a touchdown and Babin four catches for 38 yards to lead the visitors.

In kick/punt returns, Nealley had two for 15 yards, Jake Aitken one for 13 and Tyler McCormick one for eight.

Village NetMedia Regional Editor/Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at kwaltz@villagesoup.com.