GARDINER — Throughout its rough start to the season the Gardiner Area High School football team has made it a point of emphasis to maintain a positive attitude.

Friday night at Hoch Field it finally paid off as the Tigers (1-3) downed Nokomis (0-4) 42-24 to pick up their first Pine Tree Conference B win of the season. Gardiner was only up 28-24 heading into the fourth quarter but got a pair of touchdowns on a 4-yard run from Josh Farrin and 17-yard pass from Eli Kropp to Kaleb Caron to seal the win.

“There’s been an emphasis on learning how to win, and when we get to that level to know we are going to finish it off,” Gardiner coach Joe White said. “They really continued to take momentum away from Nokomis just when it seemed like they were clawing back into it. They played real hard all night.”

Gardiner opened up a 14-0 lead early in an action-packed second quarter before the Warriors got on the board on a 19-yard touchdown catch from Isaac Thibodeau. The Tigers pushed their lead to 22-6 on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Nate Thibeau, but Nokomis answered back with an 8-yard touchdown from Alex Chipman.

The Tigers once again responded thanks to a 55-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Caron, yet the Warriors managed to get one more score before the half to make it 28-18 at intermission. Chipman added a short touchdown run for the only score in the third quarter before Gardiner slammed the door in the fourth.

“It’s been a while since the ball has bounced our way and we more than made up for it (Friday night),” White said. “It was nice to put four quarters together with everyone doing their tasks the right way. The defensive line kept some pressure on those kids and they were searching for something that worked. It was an all-around, excellent effort on the entire defensive side and offensively we were kind of clicking.”

Kropp finished the game with a pair of touchdown passes and also completed four two-point conversion passes to Cody Spencer, who was also on the receiving end of one Kropp’s scoring passes.

MCI 61, MATTANAWCOOK 0: Braden Monteyro caught three touchdown passes from Greg Vigue, helping Maine Central Institute roll to a win over Mattanawcook Academy in Little Ten Conference play.

The win was the third shutout in four games for the Huskies (4-0). For the Lynx (3-1), it was the first loss of the season.

MCI broke the game open with 26 points in the third quarter. Ahead 21-0 at the half, Alex Bertrand started the third quarter with a one yard touchdown run. Vigue and Monteyro connected on a four yard touchdown pass, and Eli Bussell returned an interception 32 yards for a score. Brandon McKenna closed the quarter with a 20-yard touchdown run.

Willie Moss scored on a 74-yard run in the second quarter for MCI.

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