The Mount Desert Island High School football team takes the field Friday night at Waterville High School. The Trojans won the game 53-14. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

MDI football moves into 1st place with win over Waterville

BAR HARBOR — Faced with its second road contest in a row, the Mount Desert Island football team turned what had the potential to be a difficult game into anything but.

For the fifth time in as many weeks, MDI couldn’t be stopped. In both halves, the Trojans outran, outpassed and outhit the opposing Waterville Panthers to spoil their Homecoming and move a game closer toward a playoff bye.

MDI rolled to yet another easy victory by topping Waterville 53-14 on Friday. The win was the fifth in a row for the Trojans, who are now in first place in Class C North for the first time this season.

“[Our team had] a convincing win in a hostile environment considering it was Waterville’s Homecoming game,” Coach Mark Shields said. “Waterville played with a lot of emotion, and our kids were able to match it.”

MDI used touchdown runs from Elijah Joyce and Croix Albee and a pair of 2-point conversions to take a 16-0 lead early in the second quarter. Waterville responded with a touchdown pass with 5 minutes, 43 seconds to go in the half to cut the lead to 16-8.

The Trojans, though, added two more touchdowns in the first half. The first came on a Colby Lee run with 4:04 left, and the second came when Albee scored with six seconds left on the clock after Andrew Phelps returned an interception deep into Waterville territory. MDI (5-1) converted both 2-point attempts for a 32-8 halftime lead.

Although MDI had elected to rest its starters in the second half in past games, the Trojans made sure this game stayed decisive. Touchdown runs from Lee and Billy Kerley and a long touchdown pass from James McConomy to Abrahm Malloy made the score 53-8 before Waterville (2-4) scored its second touchdown in the game’s final minute.

Lee led MDI on the ground with 140 yards on the ground, but the biggest news at running back was that of Albee’s return. After missing the end of last season with a knee injury, Albee had two touchdowns and four 2-point conversions to add yet another dimension to the Trojans’ running game.

Phelps, who completed two passes at the quarterback position, also recorded an interception on defense. Joyce led MDI with seven tackles on that side of the ball, and Sam Hoff added six.

MDI returns home this week for its own Homecoming when it plays on Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. against Class C South-leading Leavitt (6-0), which Shields said will be one of the Trojans’ most difficult games this year. The Hornets are Class C’s only unbeaten team after dropping down from Class B following the 2016 season.

“We will have to have one of our best weeks of practices to compete with them,” Shields said.

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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