Week 1 of the high school football season fell under the “beneficiaries of good fortune” category for Bangor High School, which capitalized on six Brunswick fumbles to earn a 21-20 victory over the Dragons.
Since then, it’s been more about the Rams’ steady growth than the gifts of their rivals, as the Bangor offense showed considerable improvement in a Week 2 loss to Lawrence of Fairfield, then the line came of age during a 51-6 drubbing of Edward Little of Auburn last Friday night.
“Our front played well both ways,” said Bangor coach Mark Hackett. “They just started moving people, making contact and playing through. They really played well, and it looks like we’re getting better.”
Bangor’s defensive secondary may be counted on to step up in Week 4, as the Rams host a pass-oriented Cony of Augusta team in a bid to remain among the Pine Tree Conference Class A leaders.
CONY Rams (1-2) at Bangor Rams (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Cameron Stadium: Cony is coming off a 40-6 victory over winless Mount Ararat of Topsham, as sophomore quarterback Ben Lucas completed 10 of 18 passes for 177 yards and four touchdowns, three to wideout Chandler Shostak.
Shostak also scored on a 75-yard run on the game’s first play from scrimmage, while Brandon St. Michael rushed for 186 yards and a score.
“This will be a test for our secondary,” said Hackett. “Cony does some things that scare you.”
Bangor, meanwhile, used its line play to spring running backs Wyatt Frost and Cody Chapman for a combined 246 rushing yards and six touchdowns in its surprisingly lopsided win at Edward Little.
Frost, normally the starting wingback, moved to tailback due to an injury that sidelined starter Zeb Tuell and totaled 179 yards and three scores on 24 carries.
“Wyatt’s always ready,” said Hackett. “He reads the blocks well, he’s a tough kid and he’s very intelligent.”
Hackett said Tuell is expected to return to action against Cony.
MOUNT DESERT ISLAND Trojans (1-2) at Brewer Witches (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Doyle Field:
Brewer has taken a liking to Pine Tree Conference Class B play, scoring 91 points in victories over Old Town (44-36) and Camden Hills of Rockport (47-0) since a Week 1 loss at fellow Class A refugee Mt. Blue of Farmington.
Quarterback Chris Miller, halfback Dillon Smith and wideout Anthony Jackson have spearheaded the Witches’ offense, which should face a tougher test against an MDI team that gave Mt. Blue its toughest test of the season before fading in the second half of a 50-26 loss.
The Trojans gained all 324 yards of its total offense against the Cougars on the ground, with both Elias Burne and Jayson Burke rushing for more than 100 yards as MDI built a 20-14 halftime lead. MDI will likely will try to use ball control in an effort to slow Brewer’s “pistol” spread offense.
HAMPDEN Academy (2-1) at Belfast Lions (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday, Bryant Field: Hampden has scored 116 points in its last two games, victories over Nokomis of Newport and Old Town, and hopes to keep that efficiency going against a Belfast team that broke into the win column last Saturday, also against Nokomis.
The Broncos put up some amazing numbers in its 62-30 victory over Old Town, with running backs Nick Stevens and Logan Steward combining for 510 rushing yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 21.2 yards per carry.
For Belfast, Friday’s game marks the end of a rugged first half of the season that also has included losses to unbeatens Gardiner and two-time defending conference champion Leavitt of Turner Center.
The Lions finally broke through against Nokomis behind Jake Campbell, who rushed 68 yards for one touchdown and returned a fourth-quarter interception 75 yards for another score to end a late comeback bid by the Warriors.
Campbell finished with 142 rushing yards on 12 carries, while quarterback Zach Collier added a touchdown pass to Mike McFadden.
CAMDEN HILLS Windjammers (0-3) at Oceanside Mariners (1-2), 7 p.m., Friday, Wasgatt Field, Rockland: This marks the start of a new midcoast football rivalry, with both Camden Hills and Oceanside — the first-year combination of the former Rockland and Georges Valley of Thomaston high schools — now fellow members of the PTC Class B ranks.
Both teams could use a victory. A rebuilding Camden Hills team has struggled offensively, scoring just two touchdowns in its first three games.
Oceanside, which has lost two straight since a season-opening win at Nokomis, could use the momentum from a win over the Windjammers as they head into a rugged three-week stretch in which the Mariners play Mt. Blue of Farmington, Gardiner and Leavitt — all unbeaten entering Week 4 play.
BUCKSPORT Golden Bucks (3-0) at Mount View Mustangs (2-1), 1 p.m. Saturday, Larrabee Field, Knox: Two teams off to fast starts in the LTC square off in what should be a run-oriented affair.
Bucksport features the punishing running back tandem of Shawn Smith and Chris Powell behind versatile quarterback Mike Cummings — and that trio has averaged 8.1 yards per rush and scored nine touchdowns on the ground.
Mount View counters with four backs who have combined for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns in three games, a contingent led by senior quarterback Jalen Babin (277 rushing yards, 3 TDs).
Mount View, which already has matched its single-season high for victories over its five-year varsity existence, could match its win total for the previous four seasons with a win Saturday.
Bucksport, coming off a 35-14 win over Orono last weekend, will seek to keep pace with fellow unbeatens Foxcroft Academy and John Bapst of Bangor atop the LTC standings.