Several key weekend results have firmed up the playoff picture for North region high school football in Classes B, C and D beginning next weekend.
The Brewer Witches (2-6) captured the eighth and final playoff berth in Class B North thanks to their 25-20 victory over Hampden Academy on Friday night and Gardiner’s 15-6 loss to undefeated Cony of Augusta.
That combination of results helped coach Nick Arthers’ club move up from ninth place, overtake Gardiner and earn a quarterfinal game at top-ranked Brunswick (8-0) Friday night.
Cony (8-0) and Lawrence of Fairfield (7-1) secured second and third place in the division, respectively, while first-year Class B entry Windham claimed fourth place and the final homefield berth for the quarterfinals.
Skowhegan (4-4) ended its regular season on a three-game winning streak, including Friday’s 51-34 victory over Mt. Blue of Farmington, to move up to fifth place and gain a quarterfinal matchup at 4-4 Windham.
Falmouth-Greely (3-5) will play at Lawrence, while 5-3 Mt. Blue visits Cony in the other Class B North matchups.
Key weekend victories by Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield, John Bapst of Bangor and Medomak Valley of Waldoboro helped mold the Class C North playoff field.
MCI (6-2) topped Hermon 21-0 in their battle for second place behind 7-1 Winslow, with Hermon (4-4) dipping to fourth place in the final Crabtree Points.
John Bapst (6-2) used its 25-7 victory over Nokomis of Newport to advance from fifth place to third place and earn a quarterfinal home game.
Medomak Valley of Waldoboro (3-5) ended its five-game losing streak by defeating 4-4 Oceanside of Rockland 36-6 on Saturday to keep its grip on the eighth and final playoff slot while dropping Oceanside from fourth to sixth place.
Class C North quarterfinals will have Medomak Valley at Winslow, No. 7 Old Town (5-3) at MCI, Oceanside at John Bapst and No. 5 Belfast (5-3) at Hermon.
Bucksport (7-0) capped off its first undefeated regular season since 2013 with a 53-0 victory at Foxcroft Academy on Friday night, and the Golden Bucks and No. 2 Dexter will enjoy quarterfinal byes in Class D North.
Dexter (7-1) won the battle for second place in the division with a 21-8 victory at No. 3 Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln. The win was the sixth straight for the Tigers and ended the Lynx’ five-game winning streak.
Houlton won another key Little Ten Conference matchup over the weekend, defeating Stearns of Millinocket 34-0.
That victory, combined with Foxcroft’s loss, pushed the 4-4 Shiretowners ahead of the 3-5 Ponies into fourth place in the division. That means Houlton will host a postseason game for the first time since it joined the LTC in 2014 in next weekend’s quarterfinals against Foxcroft.
Foxcroft defeated Houlton 32-21 on Oct. 4.
No. 6 Stearns (3-5) visits No. 3 Mattanawcook (5-3) in Friday’s other Class D North quarterfinal.
Ellsworth used a 44-30 victory at Gray-New Gloucester on Friday to edge out the Patriots for the fourth and final playoff berth in the large-school division of the first-year eight-player football ranks.
The victory, which avenged a 50-44 loss to GNG on Sept. 13, was the third in the past five games for the Eagles after an 0-3 start. It sends coach Duane Crawford’s club to top-ranked Maranacook of Readfield (8-0) for a first-round game next weekend.
Maranacook defeated Ellsworth 22-12 in their Oct. 4 regular-season meeting, also at Readfield.
The Class A regular season has one week remaining, and the battle for position between Bangor and Oxford Hills could not be tighter.
Both teams are 4-4 after dropping Friday contests, Bangor at No. 2 Bonny Eagle of Standish and Oxford Hills to No. 3 Scarborough.
But Bangor gained enough Crabtree Points from other results — notably wins by Skowhegan and Brewer — to inch past Oxford Hills into fifth place in the Class A standings by 0.1736 of a point.
Both teams are approximately seven Crabtree Points behind No. 4 Sanford (4-4), meaning Bangor’s home game against Oxford Hills and Sanford’s home game against 7-1 Bonny Eagle next Friday will determine the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 seeds in the division. Sanford, Oxford Hills or Bangor will earn a home quarterfinal.