WINSLOW — In order to clinch Saturday afternoon’s game against Mt. Desert Island, the Winslow High School football team had to play like Mt. Desert Island.

“They hold the ball and they almost dictate what you’re going to do on offense because you don’t want to give it back to them,” Winslow coach Mike Siviski said.

After stopping a long Trojans drive on its own 13 yard line with 10:13 left in the game, Winslow answered with a clock-draining drive of its own. The Black Raiders used eight minutes, 47 seconds and 17 plays to go 87 yards, and Kenny Rickard’s 1-yard touchdown run capped a 40-20 Winslow win.

The win was the 25th in a row for Winslow, now 3-0. MDI dropped to 2-1.

With MDI operating out of a T formation, and Winslow alternating primarily between the wing-T and I, the offense in this game was definitely old school. The teams combined for 602 rushing yards, 289 for MDI and 313 for Winslow. Each team had a pair of backs run for more than 100 yards. For the Trojans, Colby Lee (142 yards) and Croix Albee (103 yards) set the pace. For the Black Raiders, it was Nate St. Amand (142 yards) and Rickard (120).

The difference in the game was turnovers. Winslow had no turnovers, while MDI gave up the ball four times. The Trojans final turnover came on the third play of the third quarter, when Rickard recovered a fumble near midfield. Seven plays later, Rickard scored on an 11-yard run to push Winslow’s lead to 33-20.

“You’re not going to beat anybody with four turnovers, but you’re surely not going to beat a team like Winslow,” MDI coach Mark Shields said.

The Trojans responded with their longest drive of the game, an almost nine-minute march that ate the rest of the third quarter and nearly the first two minutes of the fourth. It fizzled out with an incomplete pass on fourth and six at the Winslow 13, though, setting up the Black Raiders game-clinching drive.

“That was a great job by the line, on that long drive,” Siviski said of his team’s fourth quarter clock killer. “We had planned to do a lot more than what we did, but they kind of force you to keep it on the ground and not give the ball back to them.”

“That was essential to the win. We just powered off the ball and played Raider football,” Winslow linebacker/running back Patrick Hopkins said.

The two-time defending Class C state champ, Winslow won its first two games of the season by 59 and 50 points. Although the margin of victory on Saturday was 20 points, this was a close game throughout. The teams traded the lead six times in a back-and-forth first half. Winslow had to be ready for an opponent that could match its physicality, Hopkins said.

“It’s not hard to understand, it’s just hard to physically prepare for it,” Hopkins said of MDI’s run-heavy offense. “You’ve got to out-physical them. That’s all it comes down to. Which team powers off the ball faster and harder.”

Winslow capitalized on MDI’s first turnover when Rickard scored on an eight yard run with 6:47 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. The Trojans answered when Albee scored on a six yard run, and Lee ran in the 2-point conversion for an 8-7 lead.

Keanu Earle’s 88 yard kickoff return for a touchdown gave Winslow a 13-8 lead, but the Trojans responded with a eight play, 33 yard drive set up by Lee’s 49 yard kick return. Albee scored again, this time on a nine yard run, and MDI had a 14-13 lead.

On Winslow’s next possession, St. Amand broke free down the right sideline for a 56 yard touchdown run to give the Black Raiders a 19-14 lead with 1:31 left in the first quarter. The lead was short-lived. MDI went back in front, 20-19, with 8:51 to play in the second quarter on a two yard run by Chris Farnsworth.

The Black Raiders took the lead for good with 51 seconds left in the half, on another drive started by a Trojans turnover. On third down and 5 from the MDI 14, quarterback Ryan Gagnon threw a jump ball to Dylan Hutchinson, who came down with it for the touchdown. St. Amand run in the conversion, and Winslow led 27-20 at the half.

“We tell the kids all the time, in big games against an opponent like Winslow, special teams and turnovers, that’s what it usually boils down to. We gave up a kickoff on special teams, and we put the ball on the ground too many times,” Shields said.

For Winslow, this was a needed win at the start of a tough stretch in which the Black Raiders will play Madison (3-0) and Oceanside (2-1) in the next two weeks.

“We hadn’t played a full game yet this year, and this will prepare us for the next few weeks,” Hopkins said.

For MDI, the game was proof the team can play with the best team in the Big Ten Conference, if it eliminates mistakes.

“I’m proud of my kids. They played hard,” Shields said. “They came down here in a tough environment and they gave Winslow a good game today. Winslow knows they were in a game.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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