PITTSFIELD — If Maine Central Institute needed a reminder that the second season has begun and it will have to fight to defend its regional title, Orono provided it on the opening drive of Friday night’s Little Ten Conference semifinal at Alumni Field Friday night.

The Red Riots drove the field in six plays to put the Huskies behind almost immediately.

The lead and momentum didn’t last long.

Willie Moss rushed for 201 yards and five touchdowns, all in the first half, as No. 1 MCI opened up a 62-19 halftime lead over No. 5 Orono and went on to a 76-27 win.

The Huskies (9-0) will host No. 2 Mattanawcook Academy (7-2) in the regional final next week at a time and date to be announced.

“I was just running as hard as possible for my seniors,” said Moss, who also had an interception on defense. “The O-line really made it happen for me tonight. They really just bring the heart to our offense.”

Alex Bertrand also rushed for two touchdowns for the Huskies while Dillon Fitts added an interception return for a touchdown. Josh Buker returned a punt for a touchdown as well.

Jackson Coutts had three touchdown passes for the Red Riots and took them 80 yards on the game’s opening series on five pass completions.

He connected with Keenan Collett for 25 yards to put the Red Riots up 6-0 and stun the home crowd.

“We knew that they’ve been throwing the football more than they had been at the beginning of the season,” MCI coach Tom Bertrand said. “We were a little shaky and they were executing. But we knew that we would respond.”

The Huskies responded on their first possession as Moss followed blocks by Bertrand and Curtis McLeod on a 45-yard touchdown run to tie it.

MCI forced three straight Coutts incompletions and a punt on Orono’s next series and took over in Red Riot territory. Moss and Bertrand teamed up on the ground to set up Bertrand’s one-yard scoring plunge.

Moss scored from nine and three yards before the end of the quarter to open a 28-6 lead.

Buker went 67 yards to pay dirt on his punt return as the points kept on coming in the second quarter. Moss scored on a pair of 20-yard touchdown runs and Bertrand added a two-yard TD plunge. Fitts went 60 yards on his interception return to answer a pair of Coutts TD passes to Kamron Hines.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter; @Rawmaterial33

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