Trojan football falls to Panthers



Mount Desert Island High School senior running back Jalique Keene breaks free of an attempted tackle Saturday at Waterville High School. The undefeated Waterville football team won the game 46-20. PHOTO COURTESY OF KELTON HALLETT

Mount Desert Island High School senior running back Jalique Keene breaks free of an attempted tackle Saturday at Waterville High School. The undefeated Waterville football team won the game 46-20.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KELTON HALLETT

WATERVILLE — The Mount Desert Island High School varsity football team put up a fight against the undefeated Waterville Panthers on the road Saturday. But with the 46-20 loss, the Trojans fell to 2-4 on the season.

The Trojan defense left a few holes that the Panthers were able to exploit on some plays, but put together impressive sacks on others. MDI Junior defensive back Isaiah Keene was involved in ten tackles and a fumble recovery. Junior linebackers Dan MacGregor and Evan Jeannotte had nine and eight solo tackles, respectively.

“Waterville has some big linemen,” MDI Coach Mark Shields said. “I’m proud of the way they battled with these bigger kids.”

Waterville won the coin toss and elected to receive. They ate up most of the first quarter with one eight-minute drive ending in a 3-yard touchdown run. The point-after kick was good, making the score 7-0 Waterville.

Junior running back Taner Bickford ran for 15 yards on two carries on the Trojans’ first possession. But MDI chose to punt after Jalique Keene was stopped for a loss.

The Panthers scored again in the first minute of the second quarter on a 55-yard touchdown run. The point-after attempt failed, but Waterville moved to a 13-0 lead.

Bickford’s kickoff return gave the Trojans great field position on their next drive, beginning at the Waterville 28-yard line. Teamwork between quarterback Colby Candage and offensive leaders Jalique Keene, Bickford, and Sandy Henggeler pushed the Waterville defense back slowly but surely. A six-yard pass from Candage to Isaiah Keene was complete for the first MDI touchdown. The point-after kick by junior Billy Laverdiere was good, bringing the score to 13-7.

The rest of the first half saw the Trojans recover two fumbles. On the first opportunity, Henggeler and Jalique Keene battled through a tough ten yards before Waterville took over on downs on their own 18-yard line. On the second, the Trojans chose to punt after three unproductive downs. The Panthers needed all their time outs to do it, but put together a scoring drive in the final minutes of the half. The Waterville touchdown and two-point conversion made the score 21-7.

MDI received to begin the second half and went three and out. On the first play of the next Waterville drive, Trojan defensive back Courtland Wallick stopped a Panther ball carrier after a 23-yard run. MacGregor and Graham Good also had big defensive plays. Waterville scored midway through the third quarter for a 28-7 lead with a point-after kick, and again in the last two minutes of the quarter. The conversion attempt failed, making the score 34-7.

Bickford had another huge kickoff return, 60 yards to the Waterville 16-yard line, setting up the Trojans to score at the top of the fourth quarter. The scoring play was a pass from Candage to Bickford, bringing the score to 34-13. Another point-after kick from Laverdiere made it 34-14.

The Panthers had two more touchdowns in the final quarter, one from 59 yards out and one six-yard run after a long drive. The point-after attempt failed on both touchdowns. The score was 46-14.

MDI freshman running back Colby Lee scored in the final seconds of the game on a four-yard run after a drive that saw Chris Farnsworth come in at quarterback. Croix Albee had two carries for four yards and Xan Rush had two carries for 20 more. The final score was 46-20.

Shields was happy with the Trojans’ effort, especially when facing a large deficit. “They kept battling and never quit,” he said.

MDI is set to host Old Town at 7 p.m. Friday for their homecoming game, to include MDI High Athletic Hall of Fame inductions at halftime. “Both teams are 2-4 on the season,” Shields said, “so this is a big game for both teams. It looks like you’ll need at least three wins to get in the playoffs. We’ll have to play well.”

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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