Photo By Taylor Vortherms

Bucksport, MDI open with wins; Ellsworth outmatched by MCI

Photo By Taylor Vortherms

A defender for the Maine Central Institute Huskies tries to pull down Ellsworth Eagle running back Jacob Shorey in Friday’s 81-6 MCI win in season-opening action.

ELLSWORTH — The Bucksport Golden Bucks and the Mount Desert Island Trojans opened their football seasons with victories last weekend.

The Golden Bucks got off to a strong start on Friday night at home, rolling to a 57-12 win over the Washington Academy Raiders.

Bucksport jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Stewart to Asher Bowden.

The defending Little Ten Conference champions put 32 points on the scoreboard in the second period, putting the game well out of the Raiders’ reach.

Those scores came on touchdown passes by Stewart of four yards to Bowden, 27 yards, 30 yards and two yards to Hayden Craig and a 30-yard run by Bowden.

The Golden Bucks added 18 more points in the third period on a four-yard touchdown run by Jack Cyr, a three-yard run by Andy Allen and a 21-yard scoring pass from Chase Carmichael to Brandon Findlay.

Stewart had a banner night, completing 15 of 18 passes for 165 yards, Cyr rushed for 153 yards on 17 carries and Bowden had 75 yards on seven carries.

For the Raiders, Ellic Smith rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown and Colin Pineo rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown.

MDI 20, Nokomis 14

With less than two minutes to play, a fumble by Colby Candage at MDI’s 16-yard line gave the Nokomis Warriors a chance to tie or win Saturday’s season opener in Newport.

But seconds later, Candage redeemed himself, downing Nokomis running back Caleb McFarlin for a loss on a fourth down play to preserve MDI’s 20-14 victory.

Senior running back Jalique Keene led the Trojans offensively, scoring three touchdowns.

The Trojans got on the board first with a 52-yard touchdown run from Keene. A two-point conversion attempt failed and MDI led 6-0.

Nokomis answered near the end of the first quarter with a 15-yard touchdown pass and the two-point conversion was good for an 8-6 Warrior lead.

In the second quarter, Candage carried the ball for several big plays, rushing for stretches of 23 and 21 yards.

A pass to Isaiah Keene was complete to move MDI into the red zone, Jalique Keene ran the ball in from two yards out and Candage converted for two points and a 14-8 MDI lead.

The Trojans’ decision to defer possession at the game’s start paid off at the top of the second half when Jalique Keene, helped by the offensive line, raced 88 yards on the kickoff return for a touchdown to make the score 20-8.

The Warriors scored what proved to be the last touchdown of the game in the third quarter, cutting the MDI lead to 20-14.

That set the stage for the game’s dramatic final moments.

“That was a wild one,” said MDI coach Mark Shields. “The thing that I was most proud of was holding them defensively at the end. We could have easily tanked it after that fumble. We always say, ‘You’re going to make mistakes. It’s going to happen, but it’s like life: if you hang your head you’re going to make another mistake and not be ready to play.’”

MCI 81, Ellsworth 6

The Ellsworth Eagle football team may be young, but its players’ composure in the face of adversity appeared well-refined in an 81-6 loss to Maine Central Institute on Friday night, Sept. 5.

After two winless years in the Class B division, the Ellsworth Eagles began their third season as a varsity program on a rough note against one of the top teams in the Little Ten Conference.

“They responded well,” Ellsworth coach Duane Crawford said of his team. “We have really good kids and coaching staff.”

The Eagle sideline remained quiet, yet upbeat as the MCI Huskies totaled 640 offensive yards and 12 touchdowns.

Even with the big lead, the Huskies didn’t seem to relent throughout the game, executing a few onside kicks in the first half and occasionally opting for two-point conversions rather than extra-point kicks, even after entering halftime with a 54-0 lead.

MCI’s starters played into the third quarter. Running back Jonathan Santiago totaled five touchdowns, scoring four of those in the first period.

Still, Crawford said he was proud of his team’s attitude as well as their growth on the field.

“They can battle through the lows and highs while supporting one another,” Crawford said. “We’re a young team, but I think we’re better this year than we were last.”

Ellsworth trailed 75-0 with 16 seconds left in the third quarter when Michael York put the Eagles on the board with a 60-yard run into the end zone. Despite the 69-point deficit heading into the final period, the Eagles celebrated with cheers and high fives.

“We moved the ball a little against them,” Crawford said. “It’s hard to tell if MCI was really that good or if we just played badly.”

MCI is a veteran team with a number of returning starters on both offense and defense. The matchup against Ellsworth’s still-developing program may offer a distorted measurement of the Eagles’ progress.

“We’ve seen the best we’ll see,” Crawford said. “Now, we’re focused on the rest of the season.”

Hugh Bowden

Hugh Bowden

Executive Editor
Hugh writes editorials, covers Hancock County sports and helps out where needed in The American's editorial department. When he's not on the sidelines, he enjoys playing jazz and tennis. [email protected]