Great Falls fullback and middle linebacker Alstevis Squirewell was his usual dominant self Friday night against the Mount Zion Warriors. Utilizing his stout frame, Squirewell rumbled for a 2-yard touchdown on offense, and anchored a Red Devils defense that held Mount Zion to a meager 54 total yards in the first half.
But on the night of his 18th birthday, a personal tragedy gave Squirewell an entirely different reason to will his team to a victory; his father passed away Thursday night after a lengthy battle with throat cancer.
"I dedicated my touchdown to him," said Squirewell, who, after a prolific first half, sat out the second half of play due to an aggravated shoulder injury. "It was therapy for me to get out there and help my team win."
The Red Devils blasted the Warriors 44-14 in an emotionally-charged game that saw Squirewell's team rally behind his unfortunate loss. Wide receiver Xavier Holmes caught three passes for 86 yards and three touchdowns, and Shaquille Simpson shut down the Mount Zion passing attack, netting a trio of interceptions.
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The Red Devils improved to 2-2 on the season after stumbling out of the gate with a 0-2 record. After the game, coach Kenny Schofield commended his team for its resiliency in the face of tough competition, but also detailed what his team needs to improve upon to maintain its positive momentum.
"The level of competition this team faced at the beginning of the season was really strong, and we struggled with our confidence because of it," Schofield said. "But we're starting to up our confidence level, and if we can continue that we should have success. We're the only small division school on our schedule, so we need to keep improving our conditioning as well to keep competing."
GREAT FALLS 44
MOUNT ZION (N.C.) 14
GF-- Xavier Holmes 35 pass from Shaq Lamar (2 point conversion)
GF--Shaquille Simpson 15 interception return (Cody Mobley kick)
GF--Alstevis Squirewell 2 run (Mobley kick)
MZ--Kevin Adams 1 run (2 point conversion failed)
GF--Holmes 37 pass from Lamar (Mobley kick)
GF--Ernest Talford 13 run (Mobley kick)
GF--Holmes 11 pass from Clark Schofield (Mobley kick)
MZ-- Shawn Carroll 49 pass from Kevin Adams (2 point conversion)
RUSHING--Great Falls: Ernest Talford 6-77, Shaquille Simpson 6-46, Tracy Simpson 4-21, Shaq Lamar 4-11, Jake Payseur 3-27, Alstevis Squirewell 3-9, Clark Schofield 2-8, Stacy Simpson 1-3, DC Caldwell 1-0. Mount Zion: Kevin Adams 16-36 Achille Fils 8-28 Elvis Morgan III 6-5 Maurio Cates 2-0
PASSING-- Great Falls: Lamar 3-7-98, Schofield 3-4-26. Mount Zion: Adams 3-12-83.
RECEIVING-- Great Falls: Xavier Holmes 3-86, Jamarcus Culp 2-15, Ernest Talford 1-23. Mount Zion; Shawn Carroll 1-49, Jordan Richardson 1-25, Achille Fils 1-9.