After being postponed Sept. 3 due to impending Hurricane Earl, Belfast and Mount Desert Island finally were able to start their high school football seasons Monday afternoon. After the campaign-opening battle, the Trojans left the field and returned to the island with a 20-6 victory.

“It was a very physical contest and both teams played with a lot of heart,” said Trojan coach Mark Shields. “It was truly a game that could have gone either way.”

MDI scored seven points in the first quarter, six in the second and seven in the fourth. Belfast tallied six points in the second quarter.

Jason Burke keyed the visitors with 11 carries for 112 yards, including a 29-yard scoring run in the second quarter to give MDI a 13-6 cushion at that time.

Lani Eversage rushed for 69 yards on nine carries and caught two passes for 19 yards to key the Lions.

MDI’s Elias Burne scored after a four-yard run in the first quarter, which was followed by an extra-point kick by Trevor Alley. Alley also added a two-yard scoring run in the fourth stanza and another extra-point kick.

Offensively for the Lions, Brad Reed scored on a two-yard run in the second quarter. However, host BAHS failed on the two-point conversion rush.

“We did a pretty nice job of moving the ball,” said Lion coach Chris Bartlett. “We had a lot of success offensively. We were moving the ball up and down the field pretty good and that was a good thing.”

Duncan Smith sealed the win for the Trojans with an interception on a second-and-10 play on Belfast’s 40-yard line with about three minutes remaining. The quarterback also completed 3-of-5 passing for 77 yards.

“I was very proud of my kids for playing with a lot of emotion,” Shields said. “We executed our defense very well shutting down Belfast’s option game and offensively we controlled the line of scrimmage most of the day.”

Bartlett agreed and said the Lions had a difficult time stopping the Trojans’ power-run game “and that was the big difference in the game was the fact that they kept our offense off the field.”

Bartlett also said that the biggest problem for his team were turnovers, including two fumbles. Those fumbles eventually were turned into 14 points, ultimately the margin of victory for MDI. The first fumble was in the first quarter on the 30-yard line and the second in the third quarter in a similar situation, said the coach.

MDI had 46 offensive plays with 18 first downs. The Trojans rushed 56 times for 232 yards. The Trojans compiled 341 total yards.

For the Trojans, Burke rushed 11 times for 112 yards (10.2 average); Burne, 15 rushes for 55 yards (3.7 average);  Alley, six carries for 30 yards (5.0 average); Cameron Crawford, four rushes for 25 yards (6.3 average); and Smith, eight attempts for 10 yards. Smith averaged 25.7 yards passing and made an interception on defense.

Additionally for MDI, Tyler Farnsworth had 12 rushes for 50 yards (4.2 average). Farnsworth also gained 32 yards on a kick return. Donny Hanson made two catches for 77 yards (38.5 average).

Belfast had 30 offensive plays with nine first downs. The Lions attempted 28 rushes for 145 yards and completed 2-of-8 passing for 29 yards. BAHS totaled 263 yards and made five turnovers.

Eversage had nine rushes for 69 yards (7.7 average). He also made two catches for 19 yards and returned five kicks for 89 yards. He compiled 177 total yards for the Lions in the game.

Jacob Campbell had six rushes for 45 yards (7.5 average); Brad Reed, eight for 25 yards (3.1 average); and Dylan Webster, four for six yards. Webster also made a catch for 10 yards. Reed tossed an interception.

Nahsic Oliphant keyed the Lion defense with nine solo tackles and five assisted tackles.

The scoring included:

MDI — Burne 4-yard run, Alley extra-point kick, 2:35 first quarter.

Belfast — Reed 2-yard run, two-point rush failed, 11:55 second quarter.

MDI — Burke 29-yard run, two-point rush failed, 10:03 second quarter.

MDI — Alley 2-yard run, Alley extra-point kick, 4:03 fourth quarter.

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.