NEWPORT — The Mt. Desert Island High School football team is known as a team that will grind out yardage with a strong running game. The Trojans did that Saturday at Nokomis, but it was a pass that was the biggest play of the game.

Trailing by five points at halftime, MDI faced third down and 12 near midfield on its first possession of the third quarter. Quarterback Donny Hanson dumped off a pass to running back Elias Burne, who followed a great block by Sean Harding and went 53 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.

The Trojans went on to the 30-26 win to keep their Pine Tree Conference Class B playoff hopes alive. MDI is now 3-3, while Nokomis is 0-6.

Burne’s catch was the only completed pass in the game for MDI, which threw the ball just three times.

“That surprised me as much as everybody else. I usually don’t get thrown the ball, but when I do, I try to make it worth it,” Burne said. “I give Sean Harding all the credit on that one. He made the amazing block that let me score that touchdown.”

Jayson Burke followed Burne’s touchdown catch with a 2-point conversion run, and MDI had a 23-20 lead. After forcing the Warriors to punt, MDI went on an eight-play, 55-yard scoring drive. This time, Burne went in from the 1, and after Cameron Crawford’s kick, the score was 30-20.

That final scoring drive was kept alive when the Trojans converted a fourth-and-inches run. MDI was 5 for 5 when going for it on fourth down.

“Our run game is usually pretty strong,” Burne said.

Burne led the Trojans with 144 yards on 27 carries, while Burke added 117 yards on 19 runs. Burne scored on runs of 6 and 2 yards in the first quarter. In between, however, Nokomis’ Austin Chipman returned a kickoff 79 yards for a score, and MDI led 15-8 after one.

The Warriors turned a pair of Trojan turnovers into touchdowns in the second quarter. Chipman scored on an 8-yard run to cap a 12-play, 70-yard drive with 1:54 left in the first half. After Matt Girroir intercepted Hanson at the 50 with 1:35 to go, Chipman scored on a 1-yard run on the final play of the half, giving the Warriors a 20-15 lead.

“I’m proud of the way our kids played hard,” Nokomis coach Haggie Pratt said. “We had a couple mental breakdowns, but we cleaned up a lot of stuff.

“They didn’t give up.”

Chipman ran for a game-high 148 yards on 21 carries and scored on a 31-yard run with 10:46 left in the game to cut MDI’s lead to four points. Nokomis was forced to punt with 4:45 to play, and the Trojans did what they do best, pounding out yards and chewing the remaining time off the clock.

“We were going to try and punch it in one more time, but then we realized we just needed the first downs. So we were just running the clock down, getting our yards, doing our blocking, and we walked away with (the win),” Burne said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
[email protected]


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