High school football

Sizzling start: Oceanside uses 'big' plays to surge past Waterville

Mariners top host Purple Panthers as Munro has four catches for 195 yards, three TDs to key victory
By Mark Haskell | Sep 08, 2019
Photo by: Mark Haskell Oceanside's Matt Spear, front, runs down the field, while Waterville's Luquis Maerrithew, left, and Julian Nabarowsky, right, gives chase on Sept. 7 in high school football. The visiting Mariners beat the host Purple Panthers 34-6.

Waterville — The momentum of the Oceanside football team’s season-opener against Waterville on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 7 ultimately hinged on one play.

And after that play, the door was kicked off the hinges.

Mariner quarterback Karl Ilvonen’s slant route to wide receiver Aiden Munro was the most significant play of the high school game midway through the third quarter — to the tune of 67 yards — and the visitors outscored the hosts 22-0 the rest of the way to sail to a convincing 34-6 win over the Purple Panthers.

Watch video and see more photos below.

Interestingly enough for Munro, it was the only catch of the afternoon for him that did not account for a score.

Munro hauled in four catches for 195 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to catching a two-point conversion for Oceanside. He accounted for 20 of the team's 34 points.

But, it took a while for the Mariner offense to get moving. After a scoreless first quarter, Oceanside led 12-6 at halftime and scored the final 30 points of the contest.

“I knew we’d come out slow and rusty after having our [preseason] game [against Camden Hills] canceled last week,” said veteran Oceanside coach Wes Drinkwater. “The first quarter we just kind of knocked the rust off and slowly started getting into what we thought we could do well against these guys. Waterville’s tough, but we’ve got a lot of athletes. And once we started getting them in space, things really started opening up.”

The game moved quickly in the first half with few flags and fewer turnovers — only one, an Oceanside fumble recovered by Waterville in the second quarter — which, ultimately, set the stage for the first score of the game.

Waterville went three-and-out after recovering the fumble and on Oceanside's first play of the next possession, Ilvonen made a pitch to Zeke Miller on an option, and Miller evaded a few tackles and raced up the left sideline for a 45-yard touchdown with 7:46 to go in the half.

The hosts responded and knotted the score on their next possession with a 35-yard touchdown run by Anthony Singh with 1:27 to play, but Oceanside took the lead for good when Ilvonen floated a long pass over the top of the Purple Panther defense to Munro, who contorted his body to make the catch and motored for a 69-yard score with 1:15 to play.

“The kid played great coverage,” said Munro. “I just went up over him, got it and the next thing I knew I was scoring.”

“Aiden is a phenomenal athlete,” said Drinkwater of Munro. “He makes the offense go really, because football has taken such a turn with [run-pass options]. He’s a big play waiting to happen. I’ve had him for a long time and I can’t say enough good things about him.”

Munro is typically a three-sport athlete, but did not play basketball and baseball last year because of a bout with walking pneumonia and colitis, a chronic digestive disease characterized by inflammation of the inner lining of the colon.

“I put in all the work I could possibly put in to get back here this summer,” Munro said. “And here we are. I didn’t think I’d ever play sports again.”

Waterville’s drive to start the third quarter was long and methodical — north of seven minutes — but the Oceanside defense held the hosts off the scoreboard after standing tall on a fourth-and-five with 4:26 to play.

It was then that the Mariner offensive kicked into overdrive, with Ilvonen as the driver and Munro the race car.

After a 67-yard pass play to Munro, Ilvonen ate up another 10 yards on a quarterback keeper. Three plays later, he hit Munro on a two-yard slant for a touchdown with 2:04 to go, and made the score 20-6 after the two hooked up for the two-point conversion on the same play.

“At halftime I told all the guys, ‘We’ve got to get a stop and we’ve got to get a score,’ ” said Ilvonen, who was 7-of-12 for 213 yards, three touchdown passes and a two-point conversion rush. “We got the stop and then we got that big gain and you could feel the morale come right out of them. We kept our foot on the throttle and kept going, they couldn’t do anything and we got out with a win.”

Munro also caught a 56-yard touchdown in the fourth and Ilvonen a two-point conversion on a rush, while Miller rounded out the scoring with a 59-yard touchdown run with 2:39 to play.

Austin Pagano added an eight-yard catch, while Dylan O'Reilly had two catches for 10 yards. On the ground, Matt Spear (7 rushes, 50 yards), Ilvonen (2 carries, 19 yards), O'Reilly (5 carries, 17 yards) and Miller (5 carries, 101 yards, 2 touchdowns) paced the offense.

Defensively, the Mariners were led by Matt Spear (13 tackles), Matthew Herrold (7 tackles), Chris Carroll (7 tackles, sack), Sam Miller (5 tackles), Jacob Carroll (3 tackles), Munro (6 tackles), Ilvonen (4 tackles), Pagano (7 tackles), Darius Pierpont (4 tackles) and O'Reilly (5 tackles).

 

Oceanside at Waterville football
Waterville hosts Oceanside on Sept. 7 in high school football in Waterville. (Video by: Mark Haskell and Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Chris Carroll. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Waterville's Liam VonOesen, left, and Oceanside's Dylan O'Reilly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Dylan O'Reilly, left, and Waterville's Liam VonOesen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Matt Spear, left, and Karl Ilvonen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Waterville's Liam VonOesen, left, and Julian Nabarowsky, right, as well as Oceanside's Matt Spear. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Matt Spear, front, and Karl Ilvonen, as well as a Waterville player. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Matt Spear, front, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Matt Spear, front, and Waterville's Jordan Lesiker, left, and Trafton Gilbert. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Matt Spear, front, and Waterville's Jordan Lesiker, left, and Trafton Gilbert. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Matt Spear, left, and Sam Miller, right, as well as Waterville's Liam VonOesen, middle, and Jordan Lesiker. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, right, and Matt Spear. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, left, and Waterville's Adam Sirois. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aiden Munro, left, and Waterville's Liam VonOesen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Waterville's Liam VonOesen and Waterville's Aiden Munro. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Lukas Reed, Waterville's Liam VonOesen and Oceanside's Gavyn Tower. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Lukas Reed, Waterville's Liam VonOesen and Oceanside's Gavyn Tower. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aiden Munro, back; Oceanside's Gavyn Tower, center, and Waterville's Liam VonOesen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Zeke Miller. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Zach Healey, left, and Dylan O'Reilly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Zach Healey, left, and Dylan O'Reilly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Zach Healey, left, and Dylan O'Reilly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Zach Healey, Dylan O'Reilly and Cam Kingsbury. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Zach Healey, Dylan O'Reilly and Cam Kingsbury. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Jason LeClerc. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, right, and Waterville's Luquis Merrithew. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen, left, and Dylan O'Reilly. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Matt Spear, Austin Pagano, Karl Ilvonen and coach Wes Drinkwater. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
A collection of Oceanside and Waterville lineman battle in the trenches. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Matthew Herrold, Michael Yates and Jason LeClerc. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
A collection of Oceanside players, including, from left, Matt Spear, Dylan O'Reilly and Matthew Herrold, converge on Waterville's Anthony Singh. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Matthew Herrold, center, tackles Waterville's Anthony Singh. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Matthew Herrold, center, tackles Waterville's Anthony Singh, while, from left, teammates Sam Miller, Michael Yates, Karl Ilvonen and Aiden Munro approach the play. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Waterville's Anthony Singh. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Matt Spear, Austin Pagano and Sam Miller. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aiden Munro. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aiden Munro. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aiden Munro. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From right, Oceanside's Matt Spear and Landdon Willis. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aiden Munro. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aiden Munro. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Chris Carroll, left, and Waterville's Liam VonOesen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Matthew Herrold, Waterville's Liam VonOesen and Oceanside's Chris Carroll. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Darius Pierpont, center, and Lukas Reed tackle Waterville's Anthony Singh. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Waterville's Anthony Singh, center, is converged on by a handful of Oceanside players, including, from left, Landdon Willis, Darius Pierpont, Lukas Reed and Sam Miller. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Matt Spear and Michael Yates. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aiden Munro. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Aiden Munro. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Karl Ilvonen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Oceanside's Zach Lealey and Karl Ilvonen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Zeke Miller. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Zeke Miller. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Zeke Miller, right, and Waterville's Cobe LeClair. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Gavyn Tower. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Gavyn Tower. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Matt Spear. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
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