AUGUSTA, Maine — The air will be filled with footballs at the Cony High School field in Augusta Friday at 7 p.m.
That’s because two of the state’s most prolific quarterbacks, seniors Matt Martin of Hampden Academy and Ben Lucas of Cony, will square off in a battle of 4-1 Eastern Maine Class B teams.
Martin and Lucas have combined to throw for 2,349 yards and 32 touchdown passes.
“It’s definitely going to be exciting,” said Martin, who has completed 44 of 84 passes (52.4 percent) for 984 yards and 17 touchdowns despite missing a game.
“There’s going to be a crazy atmosphere. We’re going to be slinging the rock all around. It’s going to be a high-scoring game,” predicted the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Martin. “It’s going to be a battle.”
“They’re the two best quarterbacks in the state,” said Cony coach Robby Vachon. “They are both real good athletes. They both have great size, and they have real good offensive lines.”
Lucas, who is 6-foot-4, 227 pounds, has completed 82 of 133 passes for 1,365 yards and 15 TDs.
“They’re 1A and 1B [among the state’s quarterbacks],” said Hampden Academy coach Kevin Canty.
Lucas is more of a pocket passer while Martin is also a running threat. Martin ran for 116 yards and threw for 103 more in last week’s 21-13 win over Lawrence of Fairfield.
“[Lucas] throws a nice ball, and he’s accurate. His receivers do a good job catching the ball. Last week, we showed that we can run the ball and that can help open things up for me to deliver the ball where I need to,” said Martin.
Lucas’ prime receivers have been Jonathan Saban (27 catches, 468 yards, 6 TDs) and Taylor Carrier (24-for-310, 4 TDs). However, Carrier has a tender ankle.
Hampden Academy’s Austin Spencer and Matt Closson have teamed up for over 25 catches, 700-plus yards and 10 TDs.
Mount Desert Island (3-2) at Foxcroft (4-1), Friday, 7 p.m. Oakes Field, Dover-Foxcroft The Ponies will be tested by a strong Mount Desert Island team featuring senior running back Teagan Candage.
“They run their offense very efficiently,” said Foxcroft Academy coach Danny White. “They don’t turn the ball over much and they control the time of possession. We have to get some three-and-outs. We’re very concerned about Candage. He has big play capabilities anywhere on the field.”
Both teams are looking to bounce back after close losses.
Peter Boyer and Corey Bjornson have combined for more than 1000 rushing yards for Foxcroft Academy, and they are also the middle linebackers who will be instrumental in trying to stop Candage and the Trojans.
Bangor (3-2) at Lewiston (1-4), 7 p.m., Lewiston
Bangor coach Mark Hackett was elated with his team’s dramatic 27-21 win at Windham and expects another battle against a Lewiston team on its Homecoming.
“They always play us tough. They beat us up, but we have been able to outscore them,” said Hackett. “They’ll put eight, nine, 10 men in the box and dare you to throw the ball. They’ll make big plays, but they’ll give up big plays, too.”
Senior quarterback Xavier Lewis will be counted on to throw the ball as well as run behind his young but rapidly improving offensive line. Logan Lanham has rushed for more than 100 yards three times. Quintarian Brown is one of Lewiston’s top runners.
Old Town (3-2) at Belfast (2-3), Friday, 7 p.m., Belfast
Second-year Old Town coach Nick Arthers will return to his alma mater seeking a third straight win.
“It’s always nice to get back down there. You see a lot of the same faces,” said Arthers, a 2004 Belfast grad. “We’re both battling for playoff position. We’ll have to limit our mistakes. They have a veteran corps of running backs and coach [Chris] Bartlett is an excellent coach who gets them prepared and amped up every week.”
Greg Clark scored four TDs in Belfast’s 49-0 win over Hermon last week. Jake Jarvis threw for 158 yards and a TD in Old Town’s 16-0 victory over Camden Hills.
Orono (2-3) at Dexter (3-2), Saturday, 1 p.m., Dexter
Orono won a wild 50-44 affair last season in which the teams combined for 764 total yards.
“We have to stop their offense and that’s something we’ve struggled with in the past,” said Dexter coach Kevin Armstrong. “They have three backs [Cam and Christian Mowrer and Collin Clement] who can start for any team in the league. And they’re pretty big up front.”
Ethyn Gould has been Dexter’s defensive catalyst, and quarterback Trevor Fogarty has keyed the offense.