MADISON — Just when Madison/Carrabec thought it had Mount Dessert Island running back Croix Albee under wraps, the 220-pound sophomore wrapped up a big win for the Trojans.

Albee converted on 4th-and-1 from his own 41-yard line with just under a minute left to snuff out Madison/Carrabec’s comeback bid and secure a 22-20 victory for MDI at Rudman Field Friday night.

Albee rushed for 160 yards and three first-half touchdowns on 28 carries as the Trojans (5-1) opened up a 22-7 lead.

Thanks to a tougher run defense than they had in the first 24 minutes, the Bulldogs (3-3) came roaring back in the third quarter behind Briar Edgerley’s 10-yard touchdown run and Steven Ouellette’s 40-yard interception return for a touchdown. They had the ball and a chance to take the lead, driving down to the Trojans’ 20-yard line with a little over three minutes to play. But Chase Malloy’s pass on 4th-and-6 was batted down in the end zone on what turned out to be their last possession.

“It comes down to a play or two and we missed those opportunities,” Madison/Carrabec coach Scott Franzose said. “Great game. I’m proud of them. And hats off to MDI. They out-played us.”

MDI gained two first downs on the game’s final drive, the last on Albee’s 10-yard run on fourth down, to burn out the clock.

“The offensive line, they were blocking really, really, really well and we can just shoot through the gap very easily,” Albee said. “It’s a lot of fun running like that.”

Albee had a lot of fun running in the first half, punishing tacklers and would-be tacklers to the tune of 114 yards.

The Trojans rode Albee and Tanner Bickford (17 carries, 91 yards) on a 17-play, 64-yard drive to start the game. Punter Isaiah Keene completed an 11-yard pass to Abrahm Malloy on 4th-and-6 to extend the drive, which Albee capped six plays later with his first touchdown, a 3-yard run on 4th-and-2.

“We did what we wanted to do that first drive, which was make them earn every single inch,” Franzose said. “But they can eat up clock. I think the first half, we didn’t get a lot of offensive opportunities.”

Madison/Carrabec responded on its second possession with one play — a 48-yard run by Nick Morales (21 carries, 126 yards) aided by a corner-sealing block by Josh Rackliff.

MDI, which ran 37 plays to the Bulldogs’ 19 in the first half, regained the lead for good on its ensuing possession as Albee scored from four yards out. Bickford ran in the two-point conversion for a 15-7 advantage.

“I thought the first half we played a little bit high. The Albee kid is a big body. We had to hit him low,” Franzose said. “Second half, I think we adjusted well. We just played tougher and controlled the line of scrimmage.”

The Bulldogs went three-and-out on their next series and MDI drove 74 yards to take a 22-7 lead on Albee’s 4-yard TD run.

Madison/Carrabec drove to MDI’s 25 to close the half, but Ezra Johnson dropped quarterback Malloy for an 11-yard loss to help preserve the 15-point cushion.

“Going into halftime, I knew we were up a couple of scores but they were moving the ball on us most of the first half,” MDI coach Mark Shields said. “We knew they were too good, coached too well and too tough to think they were done tonight. They stuck us defensively. We barely moved the ball in the second half.

The Bulldogs opened the second half with a seven-play, 62-yard drive, the big play a 20-yard completion from Malloy (10-for-14, 68 yards) to Matt Curtis. Moments later, Edgerley pulled them within nine with his TD run, but Malloy’s 2-point pass try into the end zone was behind Curtis and fell incomplete.

Ouellette pulled Madison/Carrabec closer on MDI next series, hauling in a pass in the left flat and returning it for a touchdown after breaking a tackle inside the 10.

The Bulldogs reigned in Albee and limited MDI to 37 net yards in the third quarter. They had a chance to build on the momentum when Edgerley got a piece of a Keene punt that went four yards to the Trojans’ 44. But Madison/Carrabec managed just one first down and stalled on downs at the 31.


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