Dexter, ME- Kevin Armstrong wanted his team to be competitive this season.
The Dexter Tigers were that and much more in Armstrong’s first year as head coach.
The Tigers cruised to a 42-8 victory over the Maine Central Institute Huskies in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon.
Dexter finished the regular season with a 6-2 record.
“Right off from the start of the season, we decided we were going to come out and be ready and play hard,” senior Malcolm Mitchell said.” We wanted to prove to everybody that we were a good team. We had new coaching and a bunch of seniors that were determined.”
The Tigers went 1-15 in the last two seasons combined.
“I am extremely proud. Coming into the season we said we wanted to be competitive,” Armstrong said. “I feel minus the Dover game, our kids were not there quite yet at that time we have been competitive in every game. Proud of every single one of them.”
The Tigers did not take long to show they were not looking past the 0-7 Huskies. Andrew Levensalor took the first play from scrimmage and ran 66 yards for a touchdown.
“It was a power play off tackle. We executed, squeezed through a few holes,” Armstrong said. “He (Levensalor) is a great runner and had some great blocking.”
Levensalor added, “Good blocking. It set the tone. Nice way to start the game.”
Trevor Fogarty scored two first quarter touchdowns. The first one was from 16 yards out with 6:27 remaining in the first quarter. Fogarty gave the Tigers a 27-0 lead when he ran in a 46 yard touchdown on the last play of the first quarter.
“One of them I got lucky and reversed field,” Fogarty said.” Second one, I got pretty lucky too. I fumbled the snap and it worked out pretty good.”
Fogarty has been a leader all season at the quarterback position for Armstrong and the Tigers.
“He (Fogarty) has stepped forward as a leader of the team,” Armstrong said. “His skills with his legs are great. The way he developed from a player to a leader has been great.”
Mitchell scored two first half touchdowns as the Tigers jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead. He had a one yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. Mitchell also caught a 31 yard touchdown pass from Fogarty in the second quarter.
The Tigers defense allowed 82 yards and forced four turnovers against the Huskies. The first team defense allowed only 34 yards in the first three quarters.
Dexter recorded three shutouts. They allowed 16 points in the last four games. Mitchell and Slade Mower lead the improved Tigers defense.
“Slade Mower has turned it on and has played some great defense for us,” Armstrong said.”All of them have stepped up and improved.”
Mitchell added, “We are pretty proud of our defense. Tackling has been a big improvement.”
The game was played on a field that was extremely muddy due to the rain that hit eastern Maine on Friday evening and Saturday morning.
“It wasn’t very easy. We have had games like this in past years,” Fogarty said.”I think we were more ready than MCI.”
Levensalor added, “the field just kept getting worse.”
The Tigers finished as the fifth seed in the LTC. They will travel to Bucksport for a little ten conference (LTC) playoff game on Friday, October 26th.
“This is a great season. Everyone now has the same opportunity. Starts 0-0 going into the playoffs,”Armstrong said. “This team has a lot of poise for a team that only had one win last year.”
Mike Poulin scored on a five yard run for the only Dexter touchdown of the second half..
Levensalor finished with 126 yards on eight carries.He also had one interception. Andy Adams ran for 87 yards on seven carries. Fogarty rushed for 72 yards on three carries.
Eric Hathaway scored the only touchdown for the Huskies. MCI (0-8) has young talent that gives the program hope for the future. Hathaway and Jonathan Santiago lead the sophomore class.