BANGOR, Maine — The last time there were four high school football classes in Maine, Bangor was a fixture in Class A while Scarborough was still many years from even fielding a varsity program.
It’s the addition of numerous schools such as Scarborough to the state’s high school football scene that prompted the restoration of a fourth class this fall for the first time since 1986, a turn of events that has meant the return of some old rivalries and the birth of some new ones — such as the Week 2 matchup between the Red Storm and Bangor.
Bangor (1-0) at Scarborough (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Bangor and Scarborough have developed quite a soccer relationship in recent years. The schools’ girls squads have met in the last three Class A state finals — Scarborough has won two of the three — while the Rams (two) and Red Storm (three) boys teams have combined to win five of the last seven state Class A crowns.
But this will be the first meeting between Bangor and Scarborough in football.
The game will mark Bangor’s lone road trip during the first half of its schedule, with the Rams set to host Deering of Portland at Cameron Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 21, and Portland on the 28th before playing three of its final four regular-season games away from home.
Bangor is coming off a 14-13 victory over Edward Little of Auburn and likely will seek to establish its ground game against a Scarborough defense that yielded 200 rushing yards in its 21-6 loss at Sanford.
Bangor’s defense, meanwhile, has allowed just 13 points in both its exhibition-game loss to Lawrence of Fairfield and EL, and will be facing a Red Storm attack that managed just 130 total yards last week.
Scarborough is led offensively by senior Ben Greenberg, a first-year starter at quarterback whose arm strength may be reflected by the fact that as a pitcher for the Red Storm baseball team last spring he was named Maine’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
Lawrence (1-0) at Mt. Blue (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Caldwell Field, Farmington: Rare is the opportunity for two defending regional champions to meet during the following regular season.
But the expansion from three to four classes this year will create two such opportunities this season, the first this clash between two-time defending Eastern Maine Class A champion Lawrence of Fairfield and defending EM and state Class B titlist Mt. Blue — both now in Eastern B.
The two squads are vastly different from a year ago but got off to familiar starts last week. Lawrence limited Gardiner to 23 first-half yards en route to a 29-0 victory over the Tigers, with senior running back Ethan Powers rushing for four touchdowns.
New Mt. Blue quarterback Andrew Pratt debuted by completing 16 of 21 passes for 348 yards and five touchdowns — two each to Nate Backus and Cam Abbott — as the Cougars topped Hampden Academy 49-20.
Incidentally, the second regular-season clash of reigning regional champs comes Oct. 19 when 2012 Eastern Maine and Class C state champion Foxcroft Academy visits Winslow, last year’s Western C titlist.
Old Town (1-0) at Foxcroft Acad. (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Oakes Field, Dover-Foxcroft: Old Town matched its 2012 win total on opening night, defeating visiting Nokomis of Newport 24-12 in the first game at refurbished Victory Field.
Cody Whitmore rushed for 133 yards and two first-quarter touchdowns to lead the Coyotes, while teammate Braden Upshaw added 83 rushing yards, a touchdown and three two-point conversion runs.
Foxcroft also relied on its running game in defeating Hermon last week, as Peter Boyer and Corey Bjornsen combined for 366 yards and seven touchdowns.
Starting quarterback Hunter Law and sophomore wideout Hunter Smith, who sat out that game with concussion issues, have been medically cleared to return to practice and are expected to be available to face the Coyotes, according to Foxcroft coach Danny White.
Mattanawcook Acad. (1-0) at Mount View (1-0), 1 p.m. Saturday, Thorndike: These teams won just twice apiece last fall. Now one will be 2-0 this season.
Both MA and Mount View made successful debuts under new head coaches last week, with Bill McCarthy’s Mattanawcook club shutting out Washington Academy of East Machias 32-0 while Haggie Pratt’s Mount View squad scored a 39-14 victory at Stearns of Millinocket.
Mount View got a big opening-night performance from junior Steven Davis, who rushed for 368 yards and five touchdowns on 27 carries — with 304 yards in the first half including scoring runs of 66, 69 and 43 yards.
MA has a dynamic playmaker of its own in senior quarterback Trysten Pelkey, who completed 7 of 9 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown against WA, rushed for 82 yards on 11 carries with a TD and had eight tackles and a 36-yard fumble recovery return for a score on defense.
The Lynx ground out 214 rushing yards overall, with sophomore Scott Jipson rushing 11 times for 64 yards and a touchdown.