Week 3 of the high school football schedule may allow some teams to begin separating themselves from their respective packs, with several matchups of early season unbeatens headlining the slate.

Two of those clashes involve four of the five undefeated teams in the LTC Class D North.

Maine Central Institute Huskies (2-0) vs. Mount View Mustangs (2-0), 1 p.m. Saturday at Thorndike: Defending LTC champion MCI has gotten off to an overwhelming start, outscoring its two opponents by a combined 131-0, while Mount View has displayed plenty of size and strength in bursting onto the contenders’ stage. The Mustangs will have to cope with MCI’s team speed and strength on both sides of the line of scrimmage in order to spring the upset.

“We’re going to have to play a perfect game,” said Mount View coach Haggie Pratt. “We’re going to be expecting the best we’ve seen all year defensively from them, and offensively they’re the best we’ve seen. They’ve got that no-huddle offense, and we’re going to have to be prepared for that.”

Houlton Shiretowners (2-0) vs. Mattanawcook Academy Lynx (2-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Lincoln: Houlton’s second season of LTC varsity football has gotten off to a promising start, but after wins over Dexter and Camden Hills of Rockport, the competition will reach a new level in Mattanawcook Academy, as the Lynx have continued their strong play of recent years under new head coach Pat House with wins over Stearns of Millinocket and Bucksport.

“They’re probably the most physical team in the LTC,” said Houlton coach Brian Reynolds. “We haven’t played them varsity yet, but we’ve played them three times in JVs, and it’s always been a slugfest. That’s what I’ve been preparing the kids for, getting past that first onslaught because that what the kids in Lincoln bring, a lunch pail and a sledgehammer, and they’re ready to go at it.”

Winslow Black Raiders (2-0) vs. Mount Desert Island Trojans (2-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Bar Harbor: Defending Class C state champion Winslow extended its winning streak to 14 games with a victory over John Bapst of Bangor last weekend. MDI, coming off back-to-back wins against Foxcroft Academy and Belfast, hopes to subdue the Black Raiders with a more balanced offensive approach this season that has added the passing of sophomore quarterback Andrew Phelps to its traditional ground game.

Bonny Eagle Scots (0-2) at Bangor Rams (0-2), 7 p.m. Friday: This may be a crossroads game of sorts between two perennial Class A contenders. Bonny Eagle of Standish is coming off two narrow defeats, 18-14 to South Portland and 27-26 to Scarborough, while Bangor is looking for its first win under new coach Al Mosca after last week’s 42-0 loss at defending regional champion Windham. The availability of standout Bangor halfback-linebacker Dane Johnson (39 carries, 201 yards, 2 TDs), who sat out much of the Windham game because of injury, will be a key factor.

Gardiner Tigers (0-2) at Brewer Witches (2-0), 7 p.m. Friday: After last weekend’s rugged 20-13 victory at Mt. Blue of Farmington, Brewer must be careful not to look past Gardiner with unbeaten Skowhegan, 1-1 Cony of Augusta and defending Class B North champion Brunswick looming over the next three weekends. Gardiner has struggled as it approaches its first road game of the season, falling to Messalonskee of Oakland and Skowhegan by a combined 86-20.

Messalonskee Eagles (1-1) at Hampden Academy Broncos (1-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Both teams are coming off relatively high-scoring performances, Messalonskee in a 33-26 loss to Cony of Augusta and Hampden in its 40-8 win at Nokomis of Newport — Scott Flagg’s first victory as the Broncos’ head coach. Each team has its share of playmakers, among them Messalonskee running back Jack Bernatchez and Hampden wideout Jake Black, who caught a touchdown pass and returned an interception for another score last week.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...