Colby Lee of the Mount Desert Island High School football team outruns an Oceanside defender Friday in the Class C North semifinal game at home. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

Trojans to host Northern Maine football championship



BAR HARBOR — This season for the Mount Desert Island High School football team has been defined by a string of dominant wins. In the midst of a rare deficit Friday night, the Trojans found a way to deliver another one.

The Trojans had been pushed at times during the late part of their prolific 2017 season, but entering this game against Oceanside, they had never given up a lead since mid-September.

Instead of wavering, though, top-seeded MDI bounced back in dominant fashion. On the backs of a sturdy run game and stout defense, the Trojans are now headed to the Northern Maine championship game for the second year in a row.

MDI scored the final 43 points of Friday’s contest against No. 5 Oceanside to record a 51-14 win in the Class C North semifinals. The Trojans ran for over 400 yards and are now one win away from another regional title.

Mount Desert Island High School running back Gilbert “Freight Train” Isaacs going in for a 2-point conversion in Friday’s semifinal game against Oceanside. He scored on three conversion attempts. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

In the semifinal game, MDI unveiled a secret weapon: 6-foot-7, 300-plus-pound running back Gilbert “Freight Train” Isaacs. He was in the spotlight for several of the game’s 2-point conversion attempts, scoring on three of them.

The Trojans (9-1) took the lead just over a minute after the kickoff when a Croix Albee touchdown run and Isaacs’ 2-point conversion made the score 8-0, but Oceanside immediately responded. The Mariners scored on their ensuing two possessions, and MDI found itself trailing for the first time since the second half of its Week 3 win against Bucksport.

MDI, though, scored three straight touchdowns and buckled down on defense to keep the Oceanside (6-4) off the scoreboard. The Trojans added the 2-point conversion all three times to take a 32-14 advantage into halftime.

After a turnover led to an Albee touchdown to make the score 38-14, MDI recovered an onside kick and drove down the field once again to go ahead 44-14. Elijah Joyce scored on an 18-yard run early in the fourth quarter for the game’s final score.

“I was pleased with how our team responded to going down early,” Head Coach Mark Shields said.

Colby Lee had 222 yards on the ground for MDI, which compiled 422 as a team. Albee scored four of the team’s seven touchdowns, and Joyce added 39 rushing yards and a team-high eight tackles on defense.

MDI’s next game will be at home against Maine Central Institute (6-4) on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m.

MCI, which is playing its first season in Class C after winning the Class D North title the past three years, beat Winslow 43-42 in the weekend’s other semifinal.

Although the Trojans led MCI 35-0 before allowing three late touchdowns in the teams’ previous encounter this season, the Huskies are much improved from the team they were in September. The team’s high-powered offense has led it to a pair of upsets in this year’s playoffs, and the Trojans don’t want to be the third victim.

“We will have to have our best week of practice this week to compete for a Northern Maine championship,” 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]
Mike Mandell

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