BAR HARBOR – In their second football exhibition game of the preseason, the Mount Desert Island Trojans downed the Ellsworth Eagles 27-0 on Friday night.
While the score appears as a lopsided win for MDI, Ellsworth Duane Crawford added some perspective after the game.
“Last year, we trailed 48-0 at halftime,” said Crawford. “We gave up a couple of big plays I the first half. But compared to last year, I was pretty happy.
Defensively, we played well,” said Crawford. “But offensively, we still have a lot of work to do.”
The Trojans’ first scoring drive began on their own 25-yard line with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Senior running back Sandy Henggeler started them off with a 5-yard carry, then junior Isaiah Keene had a 31-yard pass reception from junior quarterback Colby Candage with 1:30 on the clock.
Candage picked up the next first down on the ground. Henggeler contributed another five yards, and senior running back Jalique Keene put the Trojans on the board with a 25-yard touchdown run with 30 seconds left in the quarter.
His brother, Isaiah, made the conversion kick, and the score was 7-0 MDI.
In the second period, Ellsworth freshman Chris Barnes picked up a fumble for a turnover, giving the Eagles possession near midfield.
But the ball got loose on the ground again and MDI came up with the recovery.
Jalique Keene scampered into the end zone again, this time from 50 yards, upping the score to 13-0.
Ellsworth threatened after Barnes picked up another fumble, giving the Eagles favorable field position on the MDI 20-yard line.
Sophomore quarterback Jacob Shorey picked up yardages to give the Eagles a first down inside the 10-yard line.
But the MDI defense refused to yield, tipping away an Ellsworth pass attempt on fourth down and giving the Trojans the ball.
Candage quickly raced 39 yards and followed that with another run to the 10-yard line before time ran out in the second period.
Late in the third quarter, the Trojans added another touchdown on a run by sophomore Zan Rush, and a two-point conversion pushed the score to 21-0.
Ellsworth took possession in the final seconds of the quarter, but MDI’s Rush intercepted a pass to put the Trojans back in control to start the fourth.
The final Trojan drive began at the Ellsworth 25-yard line and finished when Andrew Phelps broke through the defense for a 13-yard touchdown run.
“I thought the kids played really hard,” said MDI coach Mark Shields said. “We expect mistakes in the preseason. I say it’s okay to make them, but make them going 100 miles an hour.
“Ellsworth had a good scheme defensively. It was a pretty competitive game.”
If the Eagles stay healthy, Crawford is looking for week-to-week improvement.
“We have correctable problems,” he said, “that in the past weren’t correctable because we didn’t have the experience.”
Ellsworth will host the Huskies of Maine Central Institute Friday at 7 p.m. in its regular season opener.
MDI will face Nokomis on the road Saturday, Sept. 6, at 1 p.m.