BAR HARBOR — For the first time in Mount Desert Island High School football history, the Trojans claimed the Class C regional title after defeating two-time defending state champions the Winslow Black Raiders 12-7 Friday night.
In addition, MDI was awarded the Class C North Sportsmanship Award as well.
The top-seeded Trojans will face the Wells High School Warriors Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland for the Class C state title.
Friday night’s historic game started out in Winslow’s favor.
Just three minutes into the game, Winslow’s Nate St. Amand ran the ball in for a 54-yard touchdown. After a successful extra-point kick, the Black Raiders had seven points on the board with 9:06 remaining in the first quarter.
After a failed field-goal attempt by the Black Raiders and a slow second quarter with no offensive push by the Trojans, MDI finally answered with a touchdown of its own with just 5.3 seconds left in the half.
Graham Good carried the ball in from first-and-goal, but the ball was knocked out of his hands. Colby Lee was there to recover the ball in the end zone for the touchdown.
The Trojans’ two-point conversion was no good, and the half ended 6-7.
The two defenses battled out the third quarter with neither team gaining enough yards to get a good offensive drive going.
MDI would take the lead early in the fourth quarter.
After a solid offensive drive by MDI, two big personal foul penalties for the Black Raiders gave the Trojans a huge opportunity to drive the ball in for a touchdown.
Winslow was charged for an after-the-whistle hit and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that allowed MDI to advance to half the distance from the goal, just two yards out. That left the Trojans in great field position for Chris Farnsworth to run for the score.
The Trojans attempted to take a bigger lead over the Raiders, but another two-point conversion attempt failed, giving MDI a 12-7 edge.
Winslow seemed primed for a touchdown with 9:22 left in the game, but a potential touchdown pass by Ryan Gagnon was intercepted near the end zone by MDI defensive back James Carroll.
During MDI’s final offensive drive of the game, the plan for the Trojans was to run down the clock and hold onto the ball, which they did.
Winslow had one last chance to score, but the MDI defense forced the Black Raiders to turn the ball over on downs.
With just seconds left in the game, MDI’s quarterback took a knee, with the expiring clock solidifying their win.
As a team, MDI had 188 rushing yards and 49 passing yards. Lee had 19 carries for 75 yards, and Good had 17 carries for 58 yards.
Farnsworth had 12 carries for 52 yards.
MDI’s defense held Winslow to 131 rushing yards and 37 passing yards.
Carroll had four tackles, one assist and an interception.
Luke Mitchell had four tackles and two assists, while Micah Hallett had three tackles and five assists.
Drew Rich had four tackles and two assists, and Good had three tackles and two assists. Farnsworth had four tackles and two assists.
“I am so proud of the way our kids played with heart versus Winslow,” said Head Coach Mark Shields. “They just kept battling all night long and eventually came out on top.”
The team believes the win is for their fans and the MDI community.
“We have dedicated this championship victory to our community,” said the coach. “This is for every MDI football player and supporter of the program. We will give Wells everything we have in the state championship.”
In addition to their big victory, the Trojans also were awarded the Class C North Sportsmanship Award and will be presented with their banner on Saturday, Nov. 19, ahead of the Class C state title game, which kicks off at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets to Saturday’s game will be available for purchase at the MDI High School main office today, Thursday, Nov. 17, until 4 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. The school is offering a students and fans bus. Those interested should contact the school by noon today if interested.