Colby Lee, left, is guarded by Micah Hallett in the final regular season game for the Mount Desert Island High School football team. MDI topped Nokomis 44-22 on Friday to finish the regular season with a 7-1 record. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

MDI football runs past Nokomis to clinch first place



BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School football team has used its powerful rushing attack to defeat opponents of all kinds over the course of the 2017 season. Against Class C North’s top-ranked defense Friday, the Trojans were in need of one of their best efforts to finish the regular season on a high note.

Mount Desert Island High School quarterback Andrew Phelps at the last regular season football game, Senior Night, at home Friday against Nokomis. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

On Senior Night at home, the Trojans gave that effort. MDI was too fast and too strong for the visiting Nokomis Warriors from the opening kickoff to the final play, and now that the playoffs are here, a ground game that has proven its worth all year long has the potential to take the Trojans a long way.

MDI topped Nokomis 44-22 on Friday to finish the regular season with a 7-1 record. The Trojans racked up over 450 yards in the win, which helped the team clinch first place ahead of this week’s playoffs.

“I was really pleased how hard our kids played tonight against a good Nokomis team,” MDI Head Coach Mark Shields said. “It feels good to have the No. 1 seed.”

As has been the case for much of the season, MDI scored early on offense and stopped the opposition on defense in the early going. After two touchdowns and two defensive stops, the Trojans took a 22-0 lead in the final minute of the first quarter on a Colby Lee touchdown run.

Unlike some of MDI’s past opponents, though, Nokomis (6-2) was able to respond to the Trojans’ early scoring drives. The Warriors scored a touchdown of their own with 8 minutes, 46 seconds left in the second half before a Croix Albee touchdown run and Lee 2-point conversion put the Trojans up 30-7 at halftime.

The Trojan cheering squad, at right, is central to the school and community support for the top-performing MDI football team. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

After Nokomis scored on the first play of the fourth quarter following a scoreless third, an Andrew Phelps rushing touchdown 10 seconds later put MDI ahead 38-14. Nokomis would score once more, but another Phelps touchdown run put the Warriors away for good and secured a Senior Night win for the Trojans.

Lee, Albee and Phelps scored two touchdowns each and ran for 173 yards, 133 yards and 97 yards, respectively. Elijah Joyce had a team-high six tackles on defense, and Micah Hallett added five tackles and a fumble recovery.

MDI plays its first playoff game at home against eighth-seeded John Bapst (3-5) on Friday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. The Trojans would face Hermon or Oceanside in the Class C North semifinals with a win, but the team is wary not to overlook its first playoff opponent.

“We will need to take it a game at a time from here on out,” Shields said. “There are no second chances in the playoffs.”

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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