OLD TOWN — With fall officially here, the 2019 high school football season is nearing the halfway mark. The standings are taking shape, and every yard, every point and every game means a little bit more.
Week 3 of high school football took Hancock County teams all over the state, and the three matchups produced a variety of different results. As Mount Desert Island and Ellsworth/Sumner fell to tough road defeats, Bucksport wowed its home crowd with a performance that was the epitome of dominance.
MDI hit the road Friday night for a Big 11 Conference clash with Old Town, and the Trojans experienced a swing of emotions early as a would-be touchdown run by Sam Mitchell was nullified due to a holding penalty. Yet on the very next play, Mitchell ran 64 yards to the 1-yard line to set up a touchdown plunge from Baylor Landsman and a successful 2-point conversion to put the Trojans ahead 8-0.
“[Sam] is our primary running back, and we knew coming into the season that he had the most backfield experience all out of the guys we had coming back from last year,” MDI head coach Mark Arnold said. “He’s really stepped up and matured even more this year.”
In the second quarter, Old Town (1-2) kept a drive in MDI territory going with an unlikely conversion on fourth-and-12. The Coyotes then scored on a 4-yard screen pass from Sam Magoon to Tre Dorr to cut the lead to 8-6, and the hometown team would capitalize on the momentum with an interception and another touchdown drive to take a 12-8 lead into halftime.
“We had [the quarterback] wrapped up in the backfield, and he slipped out and threw the ball down the field,” Arnold said of Old Town’s fourth-and-long conversion. “I think our guys hung their heads a little bit after that, and it cost us there later in the first half.”
MDI started the second half on a high note as Porter Isaacs leaped into the air to intercept Dorr and give the Trojans the ball in the red zone. William Hodgdon came in to replace Landsman, who left the game after suffering an injury, and the senior backup proved his worth by capping off a short touchdown drive with a 4-yard run to put the Trojans up 14-12.
Yet that would be the last touchdown MDI would score against an Old Town team that controlled the rest of the game on offense and defense. The Coyotes took the lead for good on a touchdown with 3 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the third quarter and added one more with 5:05 left in the fourth for the game’s final score.
MDI had 121 yards on the ground with Mitchell rushing for 79 yards, Hodgdon and Landsman each rushing for 15 yards, Gray rushing for 10 yards and Maddox Laurendeau rushing for 2. Mitchell, Hodgdon and Landsman combined for 54 passing yards on five completions.
Back in Hancock County, Bucksport (3-0) rolled to a 60-0 win over visiting Washington Academy (0-3). The win moved the Golden Bucks into first place in Class D North as Foxcroft fell to 42-19 defeat against Leavitt.
Bucksport turned the game into a blowout from the beginning, scoring touchdowns on each of its first five offensive plays. Even as the junior varsity players entered, the Golden Bucks, who led 41-0 at the end of the first quarter, stayed in control.
“I’ve never played in a game where we scored the first time the ball was in our hands five times in a row,” Bucksport senior David Gross said. “The JVs came in at the end and still held WA’s varsity scoreless for the last three quarters, which shows the work they put in and the talent they have.”
Ellsworth/Sumner found itself on the wrong side of a lopsided affair Saturday afternoon as it fell to a 62-22 road loss against Mount Ararat (2-1). The 85-degree weather in Topsham took a toll on the Eagles (0-3), who were able to make a few big plays on offense but could not keep pace with one of the state’s top eight-man teams.
“The heat was just horrid, and we had a revolving door of guys because we only had 10 kids available for practice during the week,” Ellsworth/Sumner head coach Duane Crawford said. “Our kids played hard, but it was a difficult spot for us to be in.”
The Eagles will look to pick up their first win when they host Sacopee Valley (1-2) at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. Bucksport and MDI will also play 7 p.m. home games tomorrow with the Golden Bucks hosting Mount View (0-3) and the Trojans hosting Dexter (2-1).