May 28, 2018
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Steward’s five TDs propel Hampden past MDI

By Charlie Merritt

HAMPDEN, Maine — Hampden running back Logan Steward rushed for 157 yards on nine carries with five total touchdowns, including a span in which he scored three touchdowns in two minutes, to lead the Broncos to the 58-14 victory over Mount Desert Island on Friday night.

Hampden (6-1) used its speed and size advantage on the offensive line to rush for 377 yards and take another step toward locking up a home game in the quarterfinals. Junior quarterback Matt Martin ran the efficient Hampden offense, finishing 8-of-11 passing for 161 yards and two touchdowns and adding 81 yards rushing.

The Hampden defense held MDI (3-4) to only 266 yards of total offense and didn’t allow a completed pass while forcing three fumbles.

“It’s a big win because they always play us tough, but the kids came out early and took care of business,” said Hampden head coach Harry McCluskey.

Hampden jumped on the Trojans early, showing why they are the highest scoring team in Eastern Maine Class B football at 39.3 points per game. After stopping MDI on a fourth-and-short play on the Trojans’ first possession, Hampden took over on its own 47-yard line. On the Broncos fourth play from scrimmage, Steward started to sweep left before reversing his field and sprinting for a 34-yard touchdown with 7:22 to go in the first quarter. After the PAT by Roy Donnelly, Hampden led 7-0.

“Last year they forced us out of a home playoff game, and that was in the back of our minds, and our line did a great job tonight,” said Steward.

Steward was far from done. On the following kickoff, the Trojans fumbled the ball back to Hampden on the 33-yard line. On the next play, Hampden ran another sweep play which Steward took to the end zone for his second score of the game putting the Broncos on top 15-0 after a two-point rush by Reed Pozzy.

The Trojans fumbled again on the first play of their next possession. Three plays later Hampden went back to Steward on another sweep play from 12 yards out. He rushed to the outside and dove for the pylon, giving him three touchdowns on three carries in less than two minutes. After a failed conversion Hampden led 21-0 with just over five minutes to play in the first quarter.

“We have a great line, we have some good backs, and we have kids, whether they’re wide receivers or whoever, who are blocking and I think it’s a team effort,” said McCluskey.

MDI finally got some momentum at the end of the first quarter as junior running back Jalique Keene, normally the decoy, took the handoff after a fake and burst for a 59-yard run. Two plays later freshman running back Taner Bickford scored from 15 yards out, cutting the score to 21-6 after an unsuccessful conversion. Bickford would be the lead rusher for the Trojans with 109 yards on 17 carries.

Hampden would tack on two more scores at the end of the half to put the game out of reach. The Trojans forced a fourth-and-goal at the 3-yard line with just under five minutes to play but were unable to stop Steward on a dive from 3 yards out, giving him his fourth touchdown of the half.

On Hampden’s following possession, Martin marched the Broncos downfield stringing together deep pass completions. He found senior tight end Tyler Norris on a roll-out play from 17 yards out to give Hampden a 38-6 halftime lead and the fans plenty to cheer about on this chilly evening.

“The fans have been here all year long and the stands have always been packed. Who cares what the weather is? They’re here and it’s important that they’re loud. It’s fun to play in front of them,” said Martin.

Hampden picked up where they left off in the second half. Martin completed four passes in a row on the Broncos’ first possession before finding Steward on a curl route from 14 yards out as Steward scored his fifth TD. Steward finished with 44 yards receiving.

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