THORNDIKE — Undermanned Mount View hosted Waterville on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 11 in eight-man football and came up on the short end of a 42-12 score.

Saturday marked Mount View’s debut in the eight-man ranks. The school opted to go away from traditional 11-on-11 football in the spring of 2020 due to decreasing numbers in the program.

The Mustangs — nor other teams statewide — had the opportunity to play eight-man football last fall due to COVID-19. Instead, they played 7-on-7 flag football.

“I like the game,” said Mustang coach Rick Leary of the eight-man format. “Obviously you’ve got to tackle better and there’s a lot more holes out there on the grass. There’s a lot more open-field tackling.”

The Mustangs have only 17 players, but have yet to have the 17 practice together, let alone dress for a game. Mount View had to cancel its first game against Stearns of Millinocket after five players entered COVID-19 protocols due to close contacts.

Mount View got those five players back ahead of its game with Waterville, only to promptly lose five more, which again gave them only 12 active players. The ‘Stangs this time opted to suit up against the Purple Panthers.

They will also be without their full squad on Friday, Sept. 17 at Morse of Bath.

“It’s been tough,” the coach said. “But you know what? The kids that are coming are busting their rear ends. There’s a lot of valuable things happening.”

Waterville, which led 30-6 at halftime, was keyed offensively by Liam Von Oesen, who rushed for 225 yards and four touchdowns.

Sam Valleau had a six-yard touchdown rush for Mount View in the third quarter and also threw a touchdown pass to Rob Cassidy in the second quarter.

Anthony Mathous had four quarterback sacks to lead the Mustang defense.

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.