Pair of fourth quarter touchdowns gives MCI preseason victory at Foxcroft

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — A week before starting the regular season with eight games against fellow Class D North programs, Foxcroft Academy got a chance to face defending Class C champion Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield in a preseason matchup on Aug. 24. The visiting Huskies would score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, when both teams had reserve units on the field, to win the exhibition contest 28-21.

Three big plays, each totaling more than 70 yards, helped Foxcroft build a 21-14 halftime lead.

After MCI missed a 30-yard field goal attempt on its first possession of the game, the Ponies took over at the Foxcroft 20-yard line. The team’s second offensive possession began with a 2-yard loss, but on second down from the 18 senior quarterback Matthew Spooner took the shotgun snap from classmate Ryan Vienneau and he looked to pass.

Foxcroft MCI football

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
RUSHING THE PASSER INTO AN INCOMPLETION — Foxcroft Academy senior Matthew Spooner forces MCI sophomore quarterback Ryan Friend’s throw to fall short of his intended receiver, as Pony senior Sekton Wandikbo pursues the play, during a preseason contest on Aug. 24 at Oakes Field. The defending Class C champion Huskies would score twice in the fourth quarter to earn a 28-21 victory.

Spooner spied senior Hyatt Smith down the field to the right as the receiver got behind the cornerback. Spooner’s throw landed in Smith’s grasp as he outrun the coverage 82 yards for the first points of the evening. Spooner then held the football as sophomore Luke Stedman kicked it through for the PAT and 7-0 advantage. Smith’s four receptions resulted in a game-high 129 receiving yards.

MCI would tie the game on a 104-yard interception return early in the second quarter, but the Foxcroft offense would strike back in a drive needing only a single play.

The Pony defense forced an imcompletition on a fourth-and-7 at the Foxcroft-26. On first down sophomore Logan Martin took the handoff as he swept to the left side of the gridiron. Martin would cut back away from the sideline and he ran 74 yards for the touchdown, with Stedman again kicking the PAT. Martin rushed for a team-high 79 yards on four carries.

The two teams would be tied again, at 14 points apiece, late in the second quarter as MCI quarterback Ryan Friend and senior TJ Kuespert connected on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 10.5 seconds remaining before the half.

Foxcroft MCI football

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
TWO BIG PLAYS — Pony sophomore Logan Martin would score on a pair of very long touchdowns during the second quarter of the Friday night contest vs. MCI. Martin ran the ball 74 yards to the endzone and he brought a kickoff back 85 yards to close out the second quarter.

The mirror image on the scoreboard would not last very long as the Huskies opted to send the ball deep down the field on the ensuing kickoff. The kick came down to the field near the 15-yard line where Martin made the catch as the return team set up in front of him. The special teams unit did its job perfectly as Martin brought the kickoff back 85 yards for the touchdown on the final play of the opening half, giving him his second trip to the endzone in the second quarter.

Stedman converted the PAT for a 21-14 lead as he finished three-for-three in his kicking tuneup for 2018.

Foxcroft and MCI would have a scoreless third quarter before the second Husky offense scored twice in the fourth quarter on running and passing plays while facing a reserve Foxcroft defense.

Foxcroft MCI football

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
DEFENDING THE DEFENSIVE BACK — Sophomore Levi Stedman goes from receiver to cornerback to prevent MCI junior Will Russell from making an interception during the opening quarter of an Aug. 24 exhibition in Dover-Foxcroft.

The Ponies will open the regular season at home against Mount View High School of Thorndike at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31.

MCI 28,
Foxcroft 21
MCI 0 14 0 14 | 28
FOX 7 14 0 0 | 21
First: F — Smith 82 yds
from Spooner (Stedman kick)
Second: M — Russell 104-yd
Int return (Burger Roy kick)
F — Martin 74 yds
(Stedman kick)
M — Kuespert 28 yds from
Friend (Burger Roy kick)
F — Martin 85-yd KR
(Stedman kick)
Fourth: M — Moss 25 yds
(Bagley rush)
M — Berthelette 12 yds
from Wilson (rush fail)
Passing: F — Spooner 5-of-11
133 yds Int;
Seavey 0-of-0
M — Friend 11-of-27
141 yds TD Int;
Wilson 1-of-3
12 yds TD
Receiving: F — Smith 4,
129 yds TD;
Contreras 1, 4 yds
M — Kuespert 4, 66 yds
TD; Berthelette 3, 26
yds TD; Russell 2,
20 yds; Sharples 1,
19 yds; Wilson 1, 13 yds;
Staples 1, 9 yds
Rushing: F — Martin 4,
79 yds TD; Niles 7, 55 yds;
Spooner 5, 22 yds;
Seavey 3, 11 yds;
Kleicamp 1, 7 yds;
Wandikbo 7, 3 yds;
Drury 4, -4 yds
M — Bussell 16, 127 yds;
Moss 5, 57 yds TD;
Sharples 11, 49 yds;
Bagley 6, 47 yds;
Friend 2, 15 yds;
Steeves 3, yds;
Russell 1, 1 yd

Foxcroft MCI football

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
SEVEN-YARD RUN — Senior Brayden Kleicamp gained seven yards on a run in the fourth quarter.

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