Week Six of Maine’s 2010 high school football season matches up two of Eastern Maine’s six remaining unbeaten teams as Lawrence leaves Fairfield to take on fellow 5-0 team Lewiston Friday night. The other 5-0 squads are also in action Friday night as Bangor travels to South Paris, Stearns ventures from Millinocket to Dover-Foxcroft, Gardiner goes to Belfast, and Leavitt hosts Morse of Bath in Turner.
Bangor (5-0) at Oxford Hills (1-4), 7 p.m., Dan Gouin Athletic Complex, South Paris: With the Rams set to face fellow unbeaten Lawrence next week, they’ll go into this contest a bit undermanned as they’ll be resting starting running back Josiah Hartley (585 yards and eight touchdowns on 90 carries), who took a hard shot on a tackle last week and missed the second half with shoulder pain.
That’s not to say the Rams don’t have plenty of other weapons at their disposal, including quarterback Joe Seccareccia (36-for-78, 573 yards, seven touchdowns, two interceptions), receiver Nick Sherwood (12 catches for 240 yards and four TD’s), and backup tailback Wyatt Frost, who has the second-most carries on the team. Frost will get a big chance to add to his 43 carries for 168 yards on three touchdowns against a Vikings’ defense that has allowed 120 points.
“We’re real deep at that position and this gives us a chance to develop even more depth there,” said Bangor coach Mark Hackett.
Meanwhile, the Rams will look to bottle up a Vikings team that is averaging just 5.4 points per game with a defense limiting opponents to 7.8 points and 201.4 yards per game. Seccareccia leads the defense with 29.5 tackles while Tyler Shanklin is at 23.5 with a team-high two sacks.
“They’re more like what we are when we’re not in shotgun,” Hackett said of Oxford Hills’ offense. “They’re an I team, but it’s something we haven’t seen a lot of. They’re staying pretty simple and trying to do things well, and that back-to-basics approach is starting to pay off.
“They’re small, but they’re pretty quick and move around well, so they could give us some trouble for awhile.”
And yes, with a game against potential fellow unbeaten and perennial rival Lawrence looming next week, Hackett isn’t even trying to minimize the potential for an upset at most, or subpar play at least in this game.
“Oh, this is also a perfect trap game for us. No question,” Hackett said. “That’s why you play the games. You never know what’s going to happen and no one’s going to give you a break.”
Stearns (5-0) at Foxcroft Academy (2-3), 7 p.m., Oakes Field, Dover-Foxcroft: The Minutemen of Millinocket take a powerful running attack led by Billy Eurich (80 rushes, 580 yards, eight touchdowns) and quarterback Jared McGreevey (81, 531) to Dover-Foxcroft against a perennial LTC power in danger of falling out of the race for a playoff spot. A fourth loss would put the Ponies potentially two or three games out of the final playoff spot.
The Minutemen also have some passing ability to even out their offense as Brandon McLaughlin has eight catches for 163 yards. Defensively, the Minutemen may be even tougher as they’ve allowed just 22 points all season. McLaughlin is among the league leaders with three interceptions while Eurich and Charlie Tapley are among the tackles leaders with 67 and 64, respectively.
Foxcroft is led by Dylan Andrews (60 carries, 391 yards, five TD’s) offensively and defensively with a team- and LTC-best 79 tackles. Andrews also leads the LTC with four sacks.
Lawrence (5-0) at Lewiston (5-0), 7 p.m., Franklin Athletic Complex, Lewiston: The Lawrence Bulldogs are once again on a roll, scoring 139 points while allowing just 19 – the second-lowest total of any team in the state. Lewiston has been more proficient in the points category with 197, but has yielded 75.
The Bulldogs have a lot of big-strike offensive players led by tailback Blair Blaisdell.
Rockland (3-2) at Maine Central Institute (2-3), 7 p.m., at Pittsfield: This is a big separation game. A win keeps Rockland in the running for the third or fourth playoff spot in LTC while a win for MCI vaults it into contention for the last spot.
Derek Miller leads the Tigers with 663 yards and nine touchdowns on 126 carries. Sam Meklin has completed 34 of 69 passes for 507 yards, most of those going to Dan Hendricks (14 catches, 273 yards, six TD’s). The Huskies are led by the passing combo of QB Craig Reazor (19-64, 256) and receiver Trey Vintinner (eight catches, 190 yards)
Bucksport (3-2) at John Bapst (4-1), 7 p.m., Cameron Stadium, Bangor: The Golden Bucks have rebounded from a slow start with three consecutive victories and a fourth straight would put them right in the middle of the playoff race and deal a big blow to a John Bapst team that was a conference champ favorite coming into the season.
John Bapst still hasn’t quite found a go-to guy on offense, especially on the ground. The Crusaders of Bangor are led by quarterback Jordan Charpentier, who has completed 45 of 89 passes for an LTC-leading 689 yards, tight end Max Andrews (14 receptions, 167 yards), and receiver Mark Dieuveuil (nine receptions, 160 yards).
The Crusaders will have to find a way to bottle up and put some pressure on a balanced Bucksport offense featuring Gerald Williams (92 rushes for 533 yards) and quarterback Mike Cummings (24-for-63, 334 yards).