BUCKSPORT — Little went wrong in the Bucksport football team’s first game of the regular season Friday night. One of the few things that didn’t quite go as planned happened before the game even began.
Halfway through the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the public address system went out at Bucksport’s Carmichael Field. Instead of hearing the sound of senior Hannah Ferrell’s voice, there was instead one of silence as the crowd looked up toward the press box in confusion.
Starting with “O’er the ramparts we watched,” though, fans dressed in purple and gold took matters into their own hands by singing the rest of the song themselves. With the doubt no longer looming over the national anthem, the football team then took care of the rest on the field.
Bucksport scored eight touchdowns in the first half Friday night en route to a 63-6 win over Houlton. The blowout win marked the most points the Golden Bucks have scored in a game since 2007 in what could be the start of another deep run for the historic football program.
Senior running back Carter Tolmasoff got Bucksport on the board with a 29-yard run 1 minute, 50 seconds into the game and scored another with 6:57 to go in the first quarter to put the Golden Bucks ahead 14-0. A 3-yard run from Luke Wardwell four minutes later and a 63-yard sprint down the left sideline from Tolmasoff as the first quarter expired then had the home team out to a 27-0 lead.
“We were rolling early,” Tolmasoff said. “One guy would make a big play, and then another guy would come in make a bigger play that just kept us getting fired up. We were feeding off each other as a team, and the points kept coming for us.”
Bucksport would add four more touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 55-6 lead into the locker room. The Golden Bucks’ backups provided the final points late in the third quarter and kept the visiting Shiretowners off the scoreboard to cement a dominant victory.
Tolmasoff led Bucksport on the ground with 248 rushing yards and five touchdowns as the Golden Bucks racked up more than 500 yards of total offense. The team could have had an even higher output if not for a rash of offensive penalties, six of which came in the first quarter.
“We were really excited to get out there and hit somebody other than our own teammates like we’d been doing in practice the whole month, and I think that was what caused some of those penalties because we weren’t settled down,” Tolmasoff said. “We just have to remember to stay synced up as a team and stay together, and I think we can get that cleaned up if we do that.”
Bucksport’s next game will be on the road at 7 p.m. next Friday, Sept. 7, against Stearns/Schenck, which fell to 0-1 on the season after losing 28-20 to Washington Academy on Friday. The Golden Bucks have beaten the Minutemen by a combined score of 89-20 the past two years and have won four straight overall in the series since a 27-0 loss in Millinocket in 2010.
A win over Stearns/Schenck would give Bucksport a 2-0 start for the first time since 2014. The Golden Bucks have started the season 1-3 each year since then, but this year’s group refuses to dwell on those early-season struggles.
“We had those tough starts those past years, but we wanted to stress that the past is the past and that we’re a new team now,” Tolmasoff said. “We want to get off to that [good start] and establish ourselves as a different team, and I think this game was a big step.”
MDI, Ellsworth/Sumner lose openers
Hancock County’s other high school football teams both started 0-1 after falling to home defeats Friday.
Mount Desert Island fell to visiting Oceanside 40-30 in Mark Arnold’s first game as the team’s head coach. The loss was MDI’s first at home in the regular season since 2015.
The game was tight for almost the entire evening with the two teams tied 8-8 at halftime. After MDI’s Elijah Joyce scored with 1:35 left in the third quarter, Oceanside (1-0) rattled off three straight touchdowns to take a 28-16 lead in the fourth. The Trojans couldn’t come back from that deficit, but Arnold was still pleased with his team’s fight.
“All we ask from our kids is that they give us a good week of practice and come out and play hard from the first whistle to the last,” Arnold said. “We did that in this game, and we get a chance to go back and look at the things we need to work on when watching film.”
Ellsworth/Sumner fell 35-6 to Dexter (1-0) at Harold “Tug” White Stadium. Malcolm Svec scored the Eagles’ touchdown following a Nick Taylor blocked punt in the third quarter.
The Eagles and Trojans will both be on the road at 7 p.m. next Friday. Ellsworth/Sumner will be facing Orono (0-1), and the Trojans will take on Hampden Academy (0-1).