MADISON — Throughout the week, the Madison Area Memorial High School football team focused its practice efforts on defense, and can you blame them? The Bulldogs gave up 82 points last week.

“Coach (Scott Franzose) told us from the first day, it’s going to be all defense this week. It’s going to be a privilege to have offense this week. You’ve got to show me you can work on defense,” senior captain Cody Soucier said.

After turning in their worst defensive effor in a while, the Bulldogs responded with their best. Madison held a strong running Mt. Desert Island team in check, taking an imporant Class C East win, 26-13, in front of an enthusiastic homecoming crowd.

“We obviously got back to fundamentals this week. We didn’t even look at the offensive side until Thursday. All about defense, wrapping and tackling,” Franzose said.

The Bulldogs (2-3) held the Trojans (2-3) to 140 yards rushing on 28 carries, and made big plays at key moments. Ahead 20-7 early in the fourth quarter, Madison stopped a MDI drive at its own 15 when Joe Foss picked off an Andrew Phelps pass. The Bulldogs took the ensuing drive 80 yards in 11 plays, scoring when Soucier ran in from 10 yards out for a 26-7 lead with 7:15 left in the game.

That was Soucier’s third touchdown of the game. He opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the second quarter. On the final play of the first half, Soucier scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Chase Malloy to give the Bulldogs a 12-0 halftime lead.

“I was just running a seam right up the middle of the field. As soon as I saw that safety shift to the right and that backer get close to me, I knew I was going to get behind him. Chase Malloy made a great pass,” Soucier said.

Soucier finished with 226 total yards (182 rushing, 44 receiving). While MDI did a nice job keeping Madison runners from getting to the outside, the Bulldogs had plenty of success up the middle. Jordan Curtis ran for 63 yards, and Nick Morales added 64 yards.

“That game was such an anomoly that they had last week, you really didn’t know what to take from it. We knew looking on tape they have some athletes,” MDI coach Mark Shields said. “They have some weapons, and they played hard tonight… We took (the outside) away, but they did hit us up the gut a little bit.”

With 6:35 left in the third quarter, Foss recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and a 20-0 Madison lead. The Trojans answered with a 1-yard Sandy Henggeler touchdown run.

The Trojans scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Phelps to Isaiah Keene with 3:18 to play, but Morales recovered the onside kick and the Bulldogs ran out the clock.

“It was about discipline and staying home, and they did all that today. I’m very proud of the guys,” Franzose said. “They stepped up.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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