MDI’s Elijah Joyce runs with the football during a high school football game against MCI on Sept. 14 in Bar Harbor. Joyce led the Trojans with 76 rushing yards. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

MDI falls to Maine Central Institute

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island football team learned from growing pains in their first home game of the season Aug. 31. Back at home for the second time, the Trojans once again found some silver lining.

Try as they might, a win wasn’t in the cards for the Trojans in their third game of the 2018 season last week. Yet, after hanging with defending Class C champion Maine Central Institute, head coach Mark Arnold and the Trojans are plenty optimistic for the future.

MDI fell to its second defeat of the season when it lost 28-0 to Maine Central Institute on Friday. The loss was a bitter one for the Trojans but showed the team it could still be competitive against some of their toughest challengers.

“For a young team, it’s part of the growing process for us to go through those games like this,” Arnold said. “We played a good football game much of the way, and our players can use this as a learning experience.”

MCI (2-1) began the game with a six-minute drive that resulted in a touchdown run to go ahead 7-0. The Huskies then forced MDI to punt twice before scoring another touchdown to go up 14-0 with 6 minutes, 15 seconds left in the first half.

MDI, though, would show promise in the final minutes of the second quarter. The Trojans (1-2) drove from their own 30-yard line to the edge of the red zone before fumbling the ball with 5:05 left in the half and blocked an MCI kick on the Huskies’ next drive to keep it a two-score game.

The Trojans’ defense held strong on MCI’s first drive of the second half and forced a bad punt to get the ball in Huskies territory. Yet the visitors forced MDI’s offense to turn the ball over on downs before driving down the field for their third touchdown with 2:07 left in the third quarter and scoring one last time with 8:05 remaining in the fourth.

“I thought our spirits went down a little after that third touchdown,” Arnold said. “It was still a two-score game up until that point, but when they scored that, it kind of let the wind out of our sails.”

Elijah Joyce led MDI on offense with 76 rushing yards, and quarterback Baylor Landsman completed 5 of 9 passes for 33 yards. The Trojans also incorporated Cole Allen and Ethan Harkins into the offense with the latter getting three carries and a 9-yard reception.

“It was good that we were able to get those two guys involved,” Arnold said. “If you look at the scoreboard, you might not think much happened because it was 28-0, but I thought we found some good things on offense and also on defense most of the game.”

MDI will be back at home Sept. 21, when they take on Winslow (2-1) at 7 p.m. Winslow was the only team to defeat the Trojans in the regular season last year and boasts a strong team once again in 2018.

“Winslow is one of those programs that has a tradition of excellence, and they’re going to contend every year,” Arnold said. “This is in the middle of a tough stretch of games for us, and we have to keep showing the growth we’ve showed these first few games.”

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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