BAR HARBOR — A young Mount Desert Island High School football team has had the chance to grow and learn plenty of lessons over the course of the 2018 season. On Friday night, they learned another.
With three weeks left to play, MDI’s toughest stretch of the year is almost over. Although the Trojans have made progress on both sides of the ball during that span, the game showed that the team still has work to do.
MDI lost a tough road contest Friday night when it fell 49-14 against Hermon. The defeat marked the third straight for the Trojans, who are still in the midst of a daunting midseason slate that features four straight games against Class C North powers.
“I think everyone knows we can perform better than we did,” MDI head coach Mark Arnold said. “Hermon just came in with a great game plan, and they were able to move the ball against us and take advantage when they needed to.”
Hermon (4-1) started fast in the first quarter to take a 21-0 lead, but MDI got back in the game with 9 minutes and 29 seconds remaining in the first half. Quarterback Baylor Landsman snuck into the end zone from 2 yards out to cap off an 80-yard scoring drive to cut the lead to 21-6.
After Hermon scored two more touchdowns in the first to take a 35-6 lead into the break, MDI (1-4) cut the lead to three scores on the opening drive of the second half when Elijah Joyce scored a 4-yard touchdown run and ran in the ensuing 2-point attempt. Yet the Hawks added two more touchdowns to put the game in running time and stroll to victory.
Elijah Joyce had a big game on the ground once again for MDI with 153 yards on 21 carries. The senior now has 818 rushing yards this season and has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in four of five games.
“Elijah prepares and plays with great dedication and attention to detail, and it shows with his performances on the field every week,” Arnold said. “He’s a really great kid, and he’s a leader on the field as well as off the field for his teammates and others.”
With prior losses against Maine Central Institute in Week 3 and Winslow in Week 4, respectively, MDI’s past three defeats have now come against the current top-three teams in the Class C North standings. The Trojans will face another tough opponent Saturday when they play Nokomis at 1 p.m. in Newport.
That game will be televised on WABI, eastern Maine’s CBS affiliate. For coaches and players, an appearance on local TV will only provide further motivation for an MDI team hungry to get back in the win column.
“I think the chance to be on TV is something our team will definitely be excited about, and having that extra day to prepare is always a positive thing,” Arnold said. “Players will get a chance to show what they can do with folks back home watching, and the fans back on the island can tune in. We’re excited for it.”