THORNDIKE — In the second half of Saturday afternoon’s Little Ten Conference football game, Maine Central Institute looked like a team used to playing in close games. Mount View looked like a team still learning how to win, and that was the difference.

Ahead just a point at the half, MCI scored 41 unanswered points in the second half, pulling away from the Mustangs for a 54-18 win. The Huskies, the defending conference champions, are now 3-0, while Mount View is 2-1.

“We just got back to basics, fundamentals,” MCI senior captain Curtis McLeod, a two-way lineman, said. “We weren’t worried. We knew we were going to get it done.”

MCI scored 35 points in the third quarter to pull away, starting with Adam Bertrand’s 2-yard touchdown run with 9 minutes, 32 seconds left in the quarter that gave the Huskies a 19-12 lead. After a McLeod interception gave the Huskies the ball at the Mount View 37, Bertrand (11 carries, 76 yards) capped a four-play drive with a 10-yard touchdown run, his third touchdown of the day.

Three more Mount View turnovers in the quarter led to three more MCI touchdowns. Braden Monteryo capped the Huskies’ impressive quarter with a 29-yard interception return for a score, making it 48-12 with 28 seconds left in the third.

“(MCI) made a few mistakes in the first half. In the second half they didn’t make them,” Mount View coach Haggie Pratt said, adding that his team’s inexperience caught up with it in the second half. “We make a few bad plays, and we have a hard time forgetting about them and moving on.”

For a half, the Mustangs stayed with the Huskies, who had not allowed a point entering this game. MCI scored first, when Eli Bussell ran 30 yards for a touchdown early in the first quarter. After a good defensive stand late in the first quarter, Mount View took over on its own 3. Tyler Ripley took a pitch from quarterback Cole Hannan and went 97 yards untouched for a score, cutting MCI’s lead to 7-6.

“They do run their option well, and they came out ready to play,” McLeod said.

Adam Bertrand’s 15-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter pushed MCI’s lead to 13-6, but the Mustangs answered again. On fourth and five from the MCI 30, Hannan connected with Ripley for a touchdown pass, and the Huskies lead was again one point, 13-12.

Ripley gained 199 yards of offense, 141 on the ground and 58 receiving.

“They gave us a little bit of trouble with their option, when they blocked it well and we missed some assignments,” MCI coach Tom Bertrand said. “We were playing slow. We were making a lot of mistakes.”

Bussell ran for 148 yards for the Huskies, and had an interception in the pivotal third quarter. Dillon Fitts caught four passes for 105 yards for MCI.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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