MDI football team beats Winslow to reach state title game

first_img Taylor Bigler MaceReporter at Mount Desert IslanderTaylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. tbigler@mdislander.com BAR HARBOR — For the first time in Mount Desert Island football history, the Trojans are headed to the state championship game.MDI avenged its only loss of the season Friday night when it claimed the Class C regional title with a 12-7 win over the Winslow Black Raiders. MDI also received an award for displaying good sportsmanship throughout the season.The game started out in Winslow’s favor. After just three minutes, Winslow’s Nate St. Amand ran the ball in for a 54-yard touchdown. After a successful extra point, the Black Raiders had seven points on the board with 9 minutes, 6 seconds remaining in the first quarter.After a failed field-goal attempt by the Black Raiders and a slow second quarter with no offensive push from the Trojans, MDI finally answered with a touchdown of its own with just 5.3 seconds left in the half.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textIt wasn’t the way MDI (9-1) had planned on finding the end zone; Graham Good carried the ball in from near the goal line on first down, but the ball was knocked out of his hands, and Colby Lee was there to recover the ball in the end zone for the touchdown. The Trojans’ 2-point conversion was no good, and the half ended 7-6.The two defenses battled out the third quarter, but neither team was able to gain enough yardage to get a good offensive drive going. MDI, though, would find a breakthrough after two personal foul penalties against Winslow (9-2) gave the home team a huge opportunity to drive the ball in for a touchdown. Chris Farnsworth did so, though the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt failed once again.Winslow seemed primed for a touchdown with 9:22 left in the game, but quarterback Ryan Gagnon saw a potential touchdown pass intercepted near the end zone by MDI defensive back James Carroll. The Trojans did leave Winslow one last chance to score with little time left on the clock, but their defense forced the Black Raiders to turn the ball over on downs.As a team, MDI recorded 188 rushing yards and 49 passing yards of total offense. Lee had 19 carries for 75 yards, and Good had 17 carries for 58 yards. Farnsworth had 12 carries for 52 yards.MDI’s defense held Winslow to 131 rushing yards and 37 passing yards. Carroll had four tackles, one assist and an interception. Luke Mitchell had four tackles and two assists, while Micah Hallett had three tackles and five assists. Drew Rich had four tackles and two assists, and Good had three tackles and two assists. Farnsworth had four tackles and two assists.“I am so proud of the way our kids played with heart vs. Winslow,” said head coach Mark Shields. “They just kept battling all night long and eventually came out on top.”The result ends Winslow’s streak of consecutive Class C titles at two. MDI will face the Wells Warriors (10-1) in the state championship at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. The game will be played at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium after the conclusion of the Class A title game between Portland and Bonny Eagle.“We have dedicated this championship victory to our community,” Shields said. “This is for every MDI football player and supporter of the program. We will give Wells everything we have in the state championship.” Bio Sea urchin subject of aging research – July 30, 2017 Latest posts by Taylor Bigler Mace (see all)center_img Town Hill Takeout serves up inventive tacos – August 18, 2017 Latest Posts MDI man reaches 41 straight years of daily runs – July 31, 2017last_img read more

In spite of weekend victory, Syracuse eyes bigger picture

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Saturday morning was an unfamiliar feeling for the Syracuse cross country team. Despite the relative unimportance of the meet in Syracuse’s season, sophomore Roman Acosta couldn’t hide his excitement — especially for the team’s first home meet since 2004. ‘We get anxious to race,’ Acosta said. The Big East preview meet was the first time the program has held home-field advantage in six years. But even with the anticipation surrounding the circumstances, SU head coach Chris Fox calmly took things in stride before the meet, wanting to use the opportunity for some of his younger runners to get some experience. ‘This (meet) is so low-key that we’re not even running half of our kids,’ Fox said. ‘It’s more for people who are finding their way still, and the majority of kids who will be running at nationals won’t be running in this meet. Some young people will get experience, and it will be a tuneup for people who are on the edge of making the team.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Though he’s a senior on Fox’s squad and his spot on the team is likely secure, Steve Murdock wanted to get a meet under his belt and shake off some of the rust of the offseason. Coming off a season that included the program’s first Big East championship, Murdock knows how important it was to start this season off with a victory. ‘It was great,’ Murdock said. ‘It seemed like everyone was running really well, even though it was a low-key meet just to see where everybody’s at.’ Since the team decided not to participate in the Harry Lang Invitational, it had an extra week of practice before its meet. Fox made sure his team didn’t get complacent with ample idle time before the beginning of the season. ‘We trained hard,’ Fox said. ‘A couple of people that raced got to cut back on Thursday and Friday a little bit, but the rest of the team continued to train hard.’ Murdock was able to witness firsthand how the development of some of the younger runners is paying off, thanks to that training regimen led by Fox. ‘The freshmen ran amazing,’ Murdock said. ‘Actually, I was really impressed to see how well they did. I don’t think any freshman class has ever done that well, and to come in that strong. It’s really great and says a lot for the team and what we can be in the following years.’ Acosta also used Saturday’s race as a tuneup. In the bigger picture, that’s what it was supposed to be. He knows SU’s goals are far beyond a Big East preview win. ‘We just went out there and got what we had to do done,’ Acosta said. ‘It was nice to see the freshmen do really well. We just wanted to get the win and move on because we are obviously looking for bigger things ahead.’ While Fox, Murdock and Acosta are all targeting another Big East title, along with another solid showing at Nationals, Acosta appreciated the chance to finally get to run against someone other than his own teammate. ‘It was nice to get the legs moving again,’ Acosta said. ‘It was time to get our racing heads into it and look forward.’ Saturday’s win was just another steppingstone for Fox and his program, but he is keeping everything in perspective when it comes to their success this season. ‘In the grand scheme of things and the big picture, this isn’t that important,’ Fox said. ‘It doesn’t affect winning the Big East, it doesn’t affect getting to Nationals or not. It’s not like football, where every game counts. ‘And if you lose one, you’re out of the national championship scene.’ cjphil01@syr.educenter_img Published on September 13, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

Paschal Chukwu’s career night carries Syracuse over Eastern Michigan, 62-47

first_imgPaschal Chukwu gathered himself before rising up to the basket where he was fouled by Eastern Michigan’s Ty Groce.  Syracuse’s 7-foot-2-inch center stepped to the free-throw line for his first attempts of the game having converted on 48 percent of his attempts prior to Wednesday night. When he sank the first free throw, the crowd cheered, nearly sounding surprised. A similar reaction was unleashed following his second make. Then, on the next possession, Chukwu drained two more. “That is the goal,” Chukwu said, “to be able to, you know if they are going to foul me, to make them pay, I was able to accomplish that today.”With each make, the crowd became less and less surprised as Chukwu went 9-of-11 from the free-throw line to accompany his 12 rebounds and five blocks, which led Syracuse to a 62-47 win over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome. Entering the game Chukwu had 13 free throw makes on the year and is only a season removed from shooting 0-of-7 at the line. Against the Eagles, Chukwu set career highs in points (15), rebounds and free throws made in a single game.  It took less than 30 seconds for Chukwu to get his first block against EMU. As Tim Bond dribbled the ball into the center of the 2-3 zone, Chukwu stood tall. Bond stumbled and chucked up a shot, which Chukwu handily denied. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe registered his second block in as many possessions less than a minute later. James Thompson IV, who averages 17.3 points and 12.1 rebounds per game, leaped for a routine layup. Chukwu swatted the ball away from the rim to the hands of teammate Oshae Brissett who dashed down the court with the ball. In some instances, the big man filled voids left by his teammates. As Elijah Minnie beat Tyus Battle off the dribble, the guard cried for help. “Step up,” he yelled back to his center.Chukwu left his post on Thompson IV and leapt toward Minnie. He batted Minnie’s floater out of the air, negating a basket or potential pass to Thompson IV. Sometimes, he didn’t even need to touch the ball. Midway through the first half, Paul Jackson appeared to have an open lane. Then Chukwu stepped in. He stretched his arms at full length and stood still, forcing Jackson to work around him. Jackson mustered a weak floater and the scoring chance was gone. Chukwu says altering shots like that is just as important as blocks. “I mean that’s my job in the middle of the zone,” Chukwu said, “to make anybody that comes in the middle to think twice about a shot.” Offensively, Chukwu dominated Thompson IV, who was held without a double-double for just the third time this season. Late in the first half, Frank Howard lobbed a ball to Chukwu, who jumped for the alley-oop. Chukwu didn’t complete the highlight-reel slam but he did tip the ball just enough to flush through the net. In the second half, his offensive prowess placed Thompson IV in foul trouble. With just under 10 minutes remaining, Chukwu scooped up a rebound and upfaked toward the hoop. Thompson IV left his feet on the fake, and Chukwu launched himself into him, earning a trip to the line, where he sank both shots. Down at the other end of the court, Chukwu out-muscled Thompson IV for a rebound while fighting through an offensive foul. The Eagles center threw his arms up in disgust as he headed to the bench with only one foul to give and over nine minutes to play. “I thought Paschal was tremendous tonight,” Boeheim said. “They’ve got a very good guy in the middle, I thought he walled him up. I thought he did a great job on him.” As Syracuse clung to its lead with just over two minutes to play, it was Chukwu that provided the Orange with its last bit of insurance. Howard’s layup attempt grazed the backboard and rim before falling down to Chukwu. He swiftly placed the ball off the glass and ran back on defense. It was just another basket on a night where Chukwu scored more than he ever has.  “He was finishing everything,” Battle said. “He was knocking down free throws, had some big blocks, big rebounds. He’s just scratching the surface right now, I know going into ACC play he will just continue to get better.” Comments Published on December 27, 2017 at 11:58 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Oyawale, Yastrub step up in place of benched Witherspoon in SU’s 3-1 win over NC State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Down 16-11 to North Carolina State in the second set, Amber Witherspoon and Jalissa Trotter jumped up with outstretched arms and blocked a Teni Sopitan kill onto the Wolfpack side of the net. The two turned around and yelled with smiles on their faces.As Witherspoon was subbed out, she high-fived each coach, and head coach Leonid Yelin motioned her towards him. With a surprised look on her face, Witherspoon sat down next to Yelin.The play before her block, a North Carolina State kill grazed off of her fingertips and bounced off Kendra Lukacs’ hands and out of bounds. Witherspoon threw up her hands in response to her teammates’ miss. It was one of the last things she did on the court Sunday.Midway through the second set, Witherspoon put her navy blue and orange Syracuse hoodie and remained on the bench after lacking energy and support early in Syracuse’s (12-6, 8-2 Atlantic Coast) 3-1 win over North Carolina State (10-10, 4-6) Sunday. Witherspoon’s move to the bench forced Christina Oyawale and Yuliia Yastrub to step up and fill the redshirt senior’s vacant role at the net.Yelin’s frustration wasn’t noticeable throughout the entire game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring warmups, Yelin wasn’t in his usual spot in the fifth chair from the right on the Syracuse bench. He walked around the court with a smile on his face. He laughed with freshman Elena Karakasi as she received sets from Dana Valelly, returned them to assistant coach Derryk Williams and spent time working with Ella Saada on her serve.Yelin resisted calling timeouts when the Wolfpack went on early runs. Yelin said the Wolfpack “played afraid” and made constant errors. The Orange had started the set with the energy and jumped on the Wolfpack 6-0.When SU took their foot off the gas in the second set, however, Yelin’s mood changed. And Witherspoon’s lack of energy and aggressiveness stood out to him most.“I said [to Amber] it’s gotta be lesson for you too,” Yelin said. “Because in some other matches, it would cost us the match, we would lose.”After the game, while the rest of her teammates unwrapped the legs and ankles and talked with fans on the court, Witherspoon met with Yelin and two of his assistants in the Alumni Conference Room in the Women’s Building for 18 minutes. While Yelin drank coffee and Witherspoon ate the fruit from her post-game meal, they exchanged comments about the benching and why it happened.“It wasn’t because Christina necessarily played better,” Yelin said he told Witherspoon after the game. “It was because you played well below our expectations of yourself. Way below the way you can play. Comments Published on October 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrew With Witherspoon out, the Orange asked of Oyawale and Yastrub to step up. After subbing in for Santita Ebangwese, who Witherspoon usually switches with, Oyawale immediately eyed and defended a Wolfpack kill. Her and Yastrub sent the ball to the ground on the North Carolina State side, giving the Orange a 2-0 lead.Two plays later, the two teamed up again, giving the Orange a 5-0 led and leading to “Let’s go Orange” chants from the fans. The play after that, Oyawale’s diving dig kept alive a play that ended in a Polina Shemanova kill.“Christina’s been a middle since she’s gotten here,” Ebangwese said. “It just fell right in, she’s used to doing this, she knew she needed to close blocks and be a defensive presence up there.”Yastrub led Syracuse with three aces and was third on the team with 16 total attacks. She helped SU’s net play click along with Oyawale, and the two were able to help the Orange rebound from losing the second set and tame Yelin’s disgust.The ability SU has to substitute out one of its senior leaders and still compete speaks to their depth, Trotter said.“I think it’s really tough when you have to make change or adjust,” Trotter said. “But I think that’s what makes you a good team, being able to make that adjustment and knowing your teammates, and being able to have that chemistry no matter who it is on the court.”last_img read more