MDI edges Oceanside in competitive battle of playoff teamsRobinson, DeBrosky lead ground attack; late field-goal attempt falls short
Rockland — With a significant fall chill in the air and a playoff-type atmosphere, two high school football teams with lofty postseason aspirations battled toe-to-toe on Friday night, Oct. 14.
If those who witnessed the contest at cold Wasgatt Field expected a hard-hitting, exciting, competitive clash, they surely were not disappointed.
In a tough, hard-fought, late-season game played under the lights, visiting Mount Desert Island used two touchdowns and two extra-point kicks to nip pesky host Oceanside 14-12.
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If all goes as planned, the teams may meet again in the upcoming playoffs.
In the Maine Principals' Association Crabtree Point Standings for Class C North, Oceanside (4-3, 107.1000) is fourth and Mount Desert Island (6-1, 137.5519 points) first in the 10-team region.
The top six teams qualify for the playoffs.
The Mariners have experienced a remarkable season resurgence after tough start. After opening the campaign with 35-0 home loss to Carrabec/Madison, Oceanside has proven plenty competitive against any and all opponents, winning four of their next six games.
Take away that first game, and Oceanside has outscored opponents 193-100. Overall, the Mariners have outpointed foes 193-135.
On Friday, MDI scored seven points in the second and fourth quarters and Oceanside six in the third and fourth.
The Mariners finished with 184 yards on the ground on 37 carries. The hosts were led by Gage Robinson (12 carries for 84 yards), Brandon DeBrosky (16 carries for 77 yards), Nate Raye (5 carries for 13 yards), Mike Norton Jr. (2 carries for 6 yards) and David Kurr (2 carries for 4 yards).
Oceanside quarterback DeBrosky finished 16-of-38 passing for 159 yards, a touchdown and interception. Jack Freeman caught seven passes for about 56 yards and Raye two for about 48 yards.
The Trojans were held to 121 yards on the ground on 36 carries and Andrew Phelps was 1-of-5 passing for five yards and a TD. The leading rushers for the visitors were Croix Albee and Chris Farnsworth with 56 and 53 yards, respectively. Albee was injured in the third quarter and did not return.
In the end, DeBrosky's potential game-winning 25-yard field goal attempt fell short on the final play of the game and the Trojans escaped Wasgatt with the two-point victory.
The attempt was set up after DeBrosky completed a 5-yard scoring pass to Anthony Marsh with 1:02 to go on and the Mariners recovered the ensuing onside kick on their own 43-yard line.
DeBrosky made use of his one timeout and guided the Mariners to the Trojan 8-yard line in Tom Brady-like fashion, but his game-winning field goal kick was partially deflected and the Mariners dropped a heartbreaking loss to the Trojans.
The first score of the game by MDI was set up by a 72-yard punt return by Drew Rich, who was knocked out of bounds by Sam Atwood on the Mariner 8-yard line. It took four plays and, on fourth-and-five, Phelps completed his only pass of the game to Luke Mitchell in the back of the end zone with 1:34 left in the first half. Rich's extra-point kick was successful and the Trojans led 7-0.
Oceanside went three and out, but recovered a fumble on the next Trojan possession and DeBrosky drove the Mariners to the Trojan 18-yard line, but the hosts failed to convert when Graham Good picked off DeBrosky's pass at the goal line.
The Trojans got the ball to start the second half, but that drive came to a halt on the Oceanside-22 when Mariner defensive tackle Kirt Ilvonen recovered a fumble on the Oceanside 25-yard line.
The Mariners capped their first scoring drive when DeBrosky picked up a loose ball and scampered 41 yards to paydirt. The extra-point kick failed and the score remained 7-6 for the Trojans.
After the Mariners were forced to punt deep in their own territory, Farnsworth scampered 28 yards out to the end zone and Rich's kick gave the visitors a 14-6 advantage.
The teams exchanged possessions and, after a Trojan punt, the Mariners found themselves backed up on their own 1-yard line. However, DeBrosky drove the Mariners 99 yards on 15 plays to the promised land when he found Marsh in the left corner of the end zone. The two-point conversion pass failed.
"I couldn't be prouder of the boys," said Oceanside coach Wes Drinkwater. "They are competing now every week with a swagger that they know they can play with anyone. After the game I looked at coach [Nate] Grade and said this team's ready for the playoffs and teams better take notice. Just to be in field-goal range with three seconds left against the No. 1 team in the [region] with a chance to win it is amazing and my boys are earning it. Now to Belfast to try to get home field in the playoffs."
The Mariners will finish their regular season at sixth-ranked Belfast (3-4, 95.6273 points) on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. The Midcoast squads will look to improve their playoff positions.
Coach Drinkwater said the Mariner defense was keyed by the front eight of Raye, Norton Mitchell DelFrate, Josef Berger, David Kurr, Ilvonen and Freeman.
"They made stop after stop in critical situations," he said. "Raye had a lot of big plays on run blitzes disrupting timing of their backs and led us with 12 tackles. Ilvonen came off an injury and played very well in the middle and recovered and caused a fumble."
MDI — 5-yard pass Phelps to Mitchell, Rich kick, 1:34, second quarter.
Ocean — 41-yard run DeBrosky, kick failed, 4:29, third quarter.
MDI — 28-yard run Farnsworth, Rich kick, 9:28, fourth quarter.
Ocean — 5-yard pass DeBrosky to Marsh, 2-point conversion failed, 1:02, fourth quarter.