PITTSFIELD — For one half, the Mount Desert Island football team was unstoppable. And one half was all the Trojans needed.

MDI scored touchdowns on all five first-half possessions en route to a 35-24 victory over Maine Central Institute in a Class C North game at Alumni Field in Pittsfield.

“I was really happy. Any win on the road is a good win,” MDI coach Mark Shields said. “We came out early offensively and got it rolling.”

The Trojans (4-1) racked up a 35-0 lead by halftime. MCI (2-3) rallied back in the second half against MDI subs, but couldn’t rally quick enough to challenge for the win.

“We can’t start like that,” Huskies coach Tom Bertrand said. “They’re a good football team, they made a lot of big plays and we made too many mistakes and we weren’t able to execute.”

The Trojans came at the Huskies with a mix of power and speed in the first half, and the Huskies didn’t have answers for either. MDI forced a turnover on downs on the first drive of the game and quickly got on the board, going 49 yards in nine plays and reaching the end zone when Billy Kerley (11 carries, 48 yards) ran off left tackle for an 11-yard jaunt and a quick 6-0 lead with 5:31 left in the first quarter.

A long night for the MCI defense was just getting started. The Trojans needed only four plays to cover 60 yards on their second drive, with Colby Lee (nine carries, 99 yards; one catch, 50 yards) slipping through the defense for a 37-yard gain on third-and-7 the play before power back Elijah Joyce beat the defense around the right side for a 20-yard touchdown run. MDI’s next drive was no less productive; Joyce (eight carries, 45 yards) dragged tacklers for a 6-yard gain to convert a third-and-2 deep in Trojans territory, and Lee shook off a tackler and out-sprinted the Huskies defense for a 37-yard touchdown run and 20-0 lead with 5:18 left in the half.

“If you’re going to be successful, you’ve got to have diversity,” Shields said. “Right now, we are. We’re trying to feed different guys the ball, and obviously the more you can do that, the tougher you are to stop. We’re going to continue to feed those guys and hopefully we can stay balanced.”

The Trojans took to the air to cash in on their final two drives of the half. Quarterback Andrew Phelps (4-for-4, 122 yards, one touchdown) got the Huskies to bite on playaction, rolled all the way to his left and hit a wide-open Abrahm Malloy for a 53-yard gain down to the 1, setting up Joyce’s short dive into the end zone. MCI’s ensuing attempt to salvage some points before the half went unfulfilled, and two plays after a punt, Phelps found Lee alone in the left flat. The speedy back made one tackler miss and was gone, flying down the left sideline for a 50-yard score and a 35-0 lead with 59 seconds left until the break.

“We do have some athletes, and we have some good kids up front that can make some holes for them,” Shields said. “One thing that we’ve been working on a lot is our pass game, and I think it showed up a little bit tonight for us.”

Bertrand credited the MDI rushers, but said there were plenty of miscues his team was committing to make an already formidable task even tougher.

“We’ve just got to get better,” he said. “They were doing what they needed to do, and we weren’t stopping it. And defensively, they ran a pretty basic defense and they were just lining up and beating us. … They did what they wanted to do, and they executed it a lot better than we did.”

After MDI swapped out its starters in the second half, MCI — behind new quarterback Dominic Wilson (11-of-16, 165 yards) — began to chip away at the deficit. Wilson guided the Huskies on a 64-yard drive that was capped by a 2-yard Pedro Matos (12 carries, 35 yards) touchdown run, making it 35-8 with 11:32 left in the game. MDI drove into Huskies territory but had to punt after a pair of penalties, and Wilson led MCI down again on a 93-yard drive, finishing it off with Adam Bertrand’s 1-yard plunge to make it 35-16 with 1:18 left.

MCI got the ensuing kick, allowing for a final successful drive. Wilson found T.J. Kuespert (three catches, 59 yards) alone on the left side, and the tight end rumbled the rest of the way for a 36-yard score with 17 seconds to go in the game.

Coach Bertrand gave his team credit for the comeback, but said that it just accentuated how slowly the Huskies began.

“That’s the stuff we need to work on,” said Bertrand, whose team also got six catches for 94 yards from David Young. “When we are able to come out and have an energy and a belief and play together and execute, we can play really, really well. And when we don’t, we’re going to struggle.

“We rallied around something for the second half. I don’t know why we can’t rally around it at the beginning of the game, but when we find it and we put it together, we like to think we can compete.”

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.