At this time last week, the John Bapst High School Crusaders and Foxcroft Academy Ponies were undefeated.
But the Crusaders suffered a 19-7 loss at the hands of Bucksport and the Ponies were ambushed 58-14 by Orono so now the two teams will look to bounce back against each other.
They will play on Friday night at 7 at Oakes Field in Dover-Foxcroft and both coaches are hoping their players erase last weekend’s memories.
The teams are 4-1 and John Bapst coach Danny O’Connell and Foxcroft Academy coach Danny White know they will have their hands full.
“They’ve been successful and have built a winning culture,” said White. “And they can beat you in many ways. (John Bapst quarterback Deven Romain) throws the ball all over the field. We’re going to have our hands full defensively.”
O’Connell called Foxcroft a “good football team” with a lot of tradition.
“(Foxcroft running back) Don Boyer has the ability to go the distance on any play,” said O’Connell.
JOHN BAPST (4-1) at Foxcroft (4-1), Oakes Field, 7 p.m., Friday: White said going from playing an Orono team that rushed for 492 yards on 60 carries to facing a John Bapst team that has a quarterback in Romain who has thrown for a league-high 745 yards. “It’s like night and day,” said White, whose Ponies have been spending a lot of practice time on tackling this week after last Friday night’s showing.
“We have to tackle better and we’ve got to put pressure on the quarterback,” said White. O’Connell said his Crusaders can’t afford to turn the ball over like they did against Bucksport. They turned it over four times including three times in the first half. He added that they will have to do a good job on special teams as Foxcroft came close to breaking two kickoff returns for touchdowns against Orono.
O’Connell said it will be interesting to see how his team “handles adversity” against the Ponies. Boyer had rushed for 504 yards on 56 carries and will be trying to churn out yards against a John Bapst defense led by Max Andrews, Nick Jordan and Kurt Massey. Foxcroft’s defense has been sparked by Alex Stevens and Cody Coiley.
BANGOR (4-1) at Oxford Hills, 1 p.m., Saturday, Gouin Athletic Complex: Bangor coach Mark Hackett said the Vikings are a lot better than their record indicates. “They gave Lewiston all they wanted last weekend (21-12 loss),” said Hackett. “I keep saying that they’re going to beat someone they shouldn’t and it better not be us.”
He said the Vikings are “very complex on offense. They’ve had 37 different formations,” said Hackett. The Rams have won three in a row and scored at least 50 points in each victory. But he said he would rather see his defense hold the Vikings scoreless than see his offense rack up another 50 points.
He said his defense has been paced by linebacker Ellis Throckmorton, end Justin Scripture and cornerback Nick Sherwood. He said the emergence of defensive linemen Elijah Hughes, Aaron Huntington and Greg Duff has enabled him to move Cain Corkum from nose guard to defensive end and that has “made us better” because Corkum can better use his athleticism at end rather than nose guard. Oxford Hills is coached by highly-successful former Foxcroft Academy coach Paul Withee.
MATTANAWCOOK ACADEMY (2-3) at Bucksport (5-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Carmichael Field: This features two of the LTC’s most versatile and dynamic quarterbacks in Bucksport’s Mike Cummings and Mattanawcook Academy’s Trysten Pelkey. Cummings has completed 52.4 percent of his passes for 312 yards and six touchdowns and he has rushed for 321 yards on 39 carries for a 8.2 yards per carry average. Pelkey has thrown for 580 yards, second in the LTC, and has rushed for 401 yards on 47 carries (8.5 yards-per-carry).
Bucksport coach Joel Sankey said Pelkey is a hard-nosed kid who “isn’t afraid to throw the ball.” He has been pleased with his Bucks, saying “we’re getting better every week.” Three of the unsung heroes have been first-year starters Cody Gray at center and guards James Comtois and Michael York. And two of the defensive stalwarts are newcomers, according to Sankey. Linebacker Nick Bishop is a transfer from Hermon High and defensive end Jordan Fogg got cleared to play football this season after missing four years with a heart problem.
MOUNT VIEW (3-2) at Maine Central Institute (2-3), Friday, 7 p.m., Pittsfield: Mount View is the only team in the LTC with four players with at least 246 rushing yards and the Huskies will have to find a way to contain the balanced running attack. Will Nunn has rushed for 412 yards (49 carries), Jalen Babin has churned out 342 (64 carries), Ryan St. Clair has run for 247 yards (32 carries) and Craig Nealley has gained 246 on 44 trips. MCI counters with Dylan Mower, who is averaging over nine yards per carry (281 on 31).
HAMPDEN ACADEMY (3-2) at Camden Hills (0-5), Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Broncos will look to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to Gardiner against winless Camden Hills. The Windjammers will have to find a way to stop the prolific tandem of Nick Stevens (777 yards on 71 carries and 12 touchdowns) and Logan Steward (413 on 51, 9 touchdowns).
BREWER (4-1) at Belfast (1-4), Friday, 7 p.m., Belfast: The Witches, led by Dillon Smith, Brody Valley and Anthony Jackson, will try to keep their momentum going against an upset-minded Belfast team that had two 100-yard rushers last weekend in a loss to MDI. Carl Dodge ran for 121 yards on 12 carries and Jake Campbell ran for 111 yards on 13 trips. Quarterback Zach Collier completed 8-of-15 passes for 151 yards.