Mount Desert Island’s Colby Lee runs with the football as Bucksport’s Skyler McNair chases him down during the first half of a high school football game against Bucksport on Sept. 15 in Bucksport. Lee had 288 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

Lee lifts MDI football past Bucksport

BUCKSPORT — Colby Lee ran and ran, and all his opponents could do was groan.

As Mount Desert Island High School’s senior running back sprinted down the sidelines against Bucksport, the only glimpse of Lee that Bucksport’s defense caught was the back of his jersey.

Wherever there was room — and even where there wasn’t — Lee made the most of it. Whether he was juking Bucksport defenders in the backfield or blazing past them at the line of scrimmage, the senior simply couldn’t be stopped.

Lee’s 288 rushing yards and four touchdowns propelled the MDI football team to a 43-22 road victory against Bucksport on Friday. The win was the second in a row for MDI, which has now surpassed the 40-point mark in back-to-back games.

“That was a lot of fun,” Lee said. “I’ve had some good games before, but it’s hard to beat this one.”

It didn’t take long for Lee to score the first touchdown of the game. After the Trojans ran the kickoff back to midfield and threw an incomplete pass on its first play, Lee took the handoff, found a hole in the defense and ran down the left sideline for a 52-yard touchdown run that put the Trojans ahead 7-0.

After Bucksport’s Chase Carmichael threw a touchdown pass to Carter Tolmasoff from 15 yards out, MDI (2-1) extended its lead to 21-6 midway through the second quarter with touchdown runs from Elijah Joyce and Lee. The Golden Bucks then scored on a two-yard screen pass from Carmichael to Luke Wardwell with 43 seconds left, and a successful 2-point conversion made the score 21-14 going into halftime.

Bucksport took its first lead of the game with 10 minutes, 28 seconds left in the second quarter. Carmichael got the score for the Golden Bucks on a one-yard plunge, and another successful 2-point attempt put the home team ahead by 1 point.

From there, though, it was all MDI. Lee added touchdown runs of 57 and 31 yards to bookend a touchdown pass from Andrew Phelps to Abrahm Malloy in the third quarter, and the Trojans held on for the 21-point victory as both teams went scoreless in the fourth.

“Everything was working for us late in the game,” Lee said. “We made some adjustments with our [defensive] line and linebackers, and we kept stopping them whenever we needed to come out and make these big plays.”

With fellow running back Croix Albee having missed the start of the season with a knee injury, MDI has called on Lee to carry the load at that position this season. He ran for 100-plus yards against both Winslow and Old Town in the Trojans’ previous contests, but his 288 on Friday was more than he had in both of those games combined.

“I knew my team needed me,” Lee said. “Our linemen were stepping up big time and making those holes for me, and I just had to do my job.”

Lee also was responsible for four tackles and an interception on defense. Joyce added six tackles for the Trojans on that side of the ball, and Drake Janes had four tackles and a blocked punt.

“I was really pleased [with] how our team responded in the second half after getting behind,” Coach Mark Shields said. “Our defense started slowly but ended strong to help us solidify the win.”

MDI’s next game will be at home against Hermon (3-0) on Friday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. The Trojans beat Hermon 50-0 in last season’s meeting between the two teams, but these Hawks are much improved from their 2-6 season a year ago.

“That should be a great game,” Lee said. “We showed tonight that we can come out here and beat good teams, and now we have to keep doing it.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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