May 23, 2018
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Midpoint of season means no rest for Eastern Maine football teams

Michael York | BDN
Michael York | BDN
Orono High School football halfback Christian Mowrer (11) skips into the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of their game against Dexter High School in Orono, Maine, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Orono heads to Dover-Foxcroft Friday for a battle between two undefeated (4-0) teams.
By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

The high school football season has reached halftime — but there’s no intermission.

Instead it’s a time to take stock of what already has transpired in the region while looking ahead to games of importance amid the inevitable deteriorating conditions of autumn.

Class A has featured both the predictable and unpredictable. Defending Eastern Maine champion Lawrence of Fairfield, which has lost just one regular-season game in the last six years, has yet to be tested during its 4-0 start, but there’s competition looming atop the standings from fellow unbeatens Brunswick and Messalonskee of Oakland — both of whom have fairly compelling storylines.

Brunswick features the state’s leading rusher, senior Jared Jensen, a two-time state wrestling champion who already is closing in on 1,300 yards to go with his 16 touchdowns in four games — thanks in part to a 428-yard coming out party during the Dragons’ season-opening victory at Bangor.

Messalonskee, meanwhile, is expected to name an interim head coach this week to replace Wes Littlefield, who resigned last Thursday in the aftermath of an incident with a player during practice a day earlier. He is facing an assault charge. The hard-nosed Eagles shook off that controversy last Friday to defeat Oxford Hills 41-0.

Cony of Augusta was seen as a darkhorse within the division when the season began, but the Rams are darkhorses no more — improving their record to 3-1 with a convincing 49-15 win over Bangor last weekend. Cony features the league’s top passing attack, led by junior quarterback Ben Lucas.

Skowhegan has gotten off to a solid 2-2 start under new coach Matt Friedman, who has transformed the Indians from a double-wing attack to a spread formation.

And Bangor, plagued by injuries that have sidelined captains Carl Farnham, Cody Chapman, Zeb Tuell and Cain Corkum, is just 1-3 and may need help in addition to an unbeaten run through the rest of its schedule to earn one of the four playoff berths in the division.

Little has changed so far this fall in Eastern B, where three-time defending champion Leavitt of Turner Center and Mt. Blue of Farmington — the team the Hornets defeated in double overtime to win last year’s regional crown — are the lone surviving unbeatens through Week 4.

But nine teams in the division are .500 or better at the midpoint of the schedule, and with just eight playoff spots available there will be meaningful games aplenty, including this Friday when Hampden visits Gardiner in a matchup of 3-1 contenders.

As for the LTC Class C ranks, the season is just beginning for the teams near the top of the standings, as the first half of the schedule included just one game matching any of the top four teams against each other, with Orono defeating Bucksport in Week 3.

Orono travels to Foxcroft Academy this Friday for a clash between two of the three undefeated teams left in the division while the third unbeaten, John Bapst of Bangor, travels to 3-1 Bucksport.

Foxcroft, which has outscored its first four opponents by a combined 240-8, faces Orono, John Bapst and Bucksport in its next three games — all contests that will play a significant role in determining home-field advantage for the playoffs.

Stearns of Millinocket also is off to a solid 3-1 start, while Hermon and Dexter have shown considerable promise in their 2-2 efforts to date.

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