BAR HARBOR — The Maine Central Institute football team made the move from Class D to Class C this season. After some early season growing pains, the Huskies are right back where they’ve been in each of the last three seasons, a state championship game.

On Saturday night, No. 6 MCI won its third consecutive road playoff game, taking a 27-6 win at No. 1 Mt. Desert Island.

The Huskies (7-4) will face Cape Elizabeth in the Class C state championship game Friday at 7 p.m. at the University of Maine. MDI ends the season at 9-2. The Huskies won the Class D title last season.

“We knew we could be here. We knew we could, we didn’t know if we would,” MCI coach Tom Bertrand said.

The big drive for the Huskies began with 4:47 left in the third quarter, with MCI holding a 14-6 lead. Facing fourth and 1 from their own 21, the Huskies went for a risky fake punt. Adam Bertrand took the direct snap and gained five yards to keep the drive going. The drive ended up going 88 yards in 20 plays, and Bertand’s 1-yard touchdown run with 6:51 left in the game gave MCI a 20-6 lead.

“We were going to punt, but we decided we needed to change the momentum of the game a little bit and keep it in our favor. We couldn’t just give the ball up to them,” said Adam Bertrand, who added a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:14 left in the game.

Added coach Bertrand: “What have we got to lose? We trust our kids. I knew I was going to take the heat if it didn’t work… Adam made a big play, our line made a big play.”

MCI’s defense made big plays throughout the game, forcing three Trojan turnovers. MDI took a 6-0 lead with 5:49 left in the first quarter when Colby Lee broke an 80-0yard TD run. Lee suffered an injury in the second half and did not return.

“All week we’ve been preparing for that T. We really pride ourselves on our defense,” Adam Bertand said.

MCI mixed it up offensively. The Huskies third drive of the game went 61 yards in seven plays, with 50 yards in the air. Pedro Matos caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Friend, and Devon Varney’s extra point gave the Huskies a 7-6 lead.

MCI increased its lead to 14-6 with the first drive of the second half. Matos had a long kick return to the Trojan 29. Six plays later, Seth Bussell scored on a 1-yard run.

When the Trojans tried to pass, the Huskies got pressure, sacking Andrew Phelps five times. MDI’s last ditch drive ended with an Adam Bertrand interception at the Huskies 10 with just under two minutes to play.

For the Huskies, the game was sweet, considering the Trojans took a 35-24 win at MCI in the regular season.

“We’ve always believed, but that was a wakeup call when MDI came to our house and put it to us,” Adam Bertrand said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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