Ellsworth/Sumner football falls to Dexter in 1st playoff game

first_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020center_img ELLSWORTH — Seventy miles from home, a historic season for the Ellsworth/Sumner football team ended where it began.Although Ellsworth/Sumner started the year Sept. 2 with a road loss against Dexter, the team’s performance the rest of the way was one of the best runs since the varsity football team was revived in 2012. The Eagles fell to defeat again Saturday, but their performance against one of Class D North’s top teams was evidence of a program that has come a long way.Ellsworth/Sumner’s 2017 season concluded Saturday with a 34-20 road loss to fourth-seeded Dexter in the Class D North quarterfinals. The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the No. 5 Eagles, who were competing in the playoffs for the first time.“We took a huge step forward this season, and people know we’re a playoff program now,” head coach Duane Crawford said. “The game didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but everybody should be really proud of our team and what we accomplished.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textEarly on, it looked as if the game would go the Eagles’ way. After both teams went three-and-out to start the game, Ellsworth/Sumner (4-5) scored a quick touchdown to go ahead 7-0. After recovering an onside kick and scoring again, the visitors had a 14-0 lead.Dexter, though, would score three more touchdowns in the half to go up 20-14 before increasing that lead in the second half. The Eagles’ cut the decifit back to six points after junior Connor Crawford returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown, but the Tigers (5-4) held on and ultimately recorded a two-score win.“We hung with them the whole game, and that’s something we’ve done all season,” Duane Crawford said. “Other than the Hermon game, we’ve been right there in every game we’ve played.”Since posting 0-8 records in each of its first three seasons, Ellsworth/Sumner has gone 11-15 over the past three with multiple wins each year. The team was 5-3 in 2015, but Maine Principals’ Association rules regarding cooperative program enrollment figures at the time resulted in the Eagles being ineligible for the playoffs.On paper, Ellsworth/Sumner’s prospects for the 2018 season already look good. Although the team will lose four contributing seniors to graduation, Crawford said he has several new players who will enter as incoming freshman next fall.The Eagles also have essential players returning at the skill positions. Back are Connor Crawford and Javon Williams, who split time at quarterback throughout the season, as well as Charlie Hughes, who formed a one-two punch with Crawford at running back.Duane Crawford also said he expects the team’s success to spark more passion throughout the city for the varsity team and the Ellsworth Football League. Winning breeds interest, and now that the Eagles have been rewarded for doing it consistently, an increase in the number of kids playing at the elementary, middle and high school could be on the way.“It’s a hard situation for younger programs because the kids who don’t want to play for a losing team are the ones who could help you win,” Crawford said. “It’s a numbers game, and now that we’ve made it this far, we’re hoping to see even more kids come out. The future looks very bright.”Elsewhere in the Class D North ranks, the Bucksport Golden Bucks (5-3) received a bye to the semifinals after claiming the No. 2 seed. In Class C North, top-seeded Mount Desert Island (8-1) advanced Friday with a 36-6 win over No. 8 John Bapst (3-6).Bucksport and MDI will both host playoff games at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3. The Golden Bucks face No. 3 Mattanawcook Academy (6-3) in a rematch of the three-overtime contest between the two teams in Week 2, and the Trojans take on No. 5 Oceanside (6-3). Latest Posts Biolast_img

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