When week nine of the high school football season presents a meaningful contest for any team, that’s good news.
In Bangor High School’s case, week nine marks a regular-season finale full of Class A playoff implications.
For survivors in the state’s other classes, the playoffs have arrived.
Oxford Hills Vikings (4-4) at Bangor Rams (4-4), 7 p.m. Friday, Cameron Stadium: Bangor and Oxford Hills are tied for fifth place in Class A, both just 3.125 Crabtree points behind No. 4 Sanford.
Sanford (4-4) is an underdog against 7-1 Bonny Eagle of Standish, and if that expectation holds up, the Bangor-Oxford Hills winner would be in line to finish fourth and earn home-field advantage for next week’s Class A quarterfinals.
That would be a considerable feat for Bangor, which won only one game in the previous three years combined. But coach Dave Morris’ youthful Rams won three straight before last week’s loss at Bonny Eagle to move into the middle of the Class A standings.
Oxford Hills looks to rebound from back-to-back losses to No. 1 Thornton Academy of Saco and No. 3 Scarborough.
Class B Quarterfinals
No. 8 Brewer (2-6) at No. 1 Brunswick (8-0), 7 p.m. Friday: These schools of Orange and Black probably have met more than any other football rivals during the last five years. This is their ninth clash since the start of the 2015 season.
Brunswick has won six of the last eight, including the 2015 and 2016 regional finals and a 56-18 decision two weeks ago.
No. 5 Skowhegan (4-4) at No. 4 Windham (4-4), 7 p.m. Friday: Skowhegan won its last three games, including last Friday’s 51-34 victory over Mt. Blue of Farmington, to rise to fifth in the standings.
Windham bounced back from consecutive losses to Cony of Augusta, Class A Thornton Academy and Lawrence of Fairfield — teams with a combined 23-1 record — to defeat Falmouth-Greely 21-7 last week and earn home-field advantage for this contest.
No. 8 Medomak Valley (3-5) at No. 1 Winslow (7-1), 1 p.m. Saturday: The Black Raiders have been dominant since a season-opening loss at Wells, averaging 59.6 points per game.
That includes a 76-6 Week 3 win at Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, the first of five straight losses for the Panthers before they defeated Oceanside of Rockland 36-6 last Saturday to secure the final Class C North playoff berth.
No. 7 Old Town (5-3) vs. No. 2 Maine Central Institute (6-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Alumni Field, Pittsfield: MCI shut out Hermon last week to secure the second seed and home-field advantage through the semifinals.
Coach Lance Cowan’s Old Town club has rebounded nicely from an 0-2 start, winning four of its next five games before a forfeit win over Dirigo last weekend.
No. 6 Oceanside (4-4) vs. No. 3 John Bapst (6-2), 7:30 p.m Friday, at Husson University, Bangor: John Bapst has matched its regular-season win total from the past four seasons combined and secured its first winning campaign since a 6-2 finish in 2014.
The Crusaders won their last four games to earn home-field advantage against Oceanside of Rockland, a team it has not played this fall. The Mariners have split their last four games.
No. 5 Belfast (5-3) at No. 4 Hermon (4-4), 7 p.m. Friday, Pottle Field: Hermon was ranked among the top three in Class C North until back-to-back losses to No. 1 Winslow and No. 2 MCI to close out the regular season.
Belfast completed its best regular season since 2014, with first-year coach Brian Goff’s Lions matching the program’s victory count for the previous three years combined.
No. 6 Stearns (3-5) vs. No. 3 Mattanawcook Academy, 7 p.m. Friday, at Lincoln: Mattanawcook beat the Minutemen 33-6 on Oct 4 as part of a five-game winning streak that was halted last Friday in a 21-8 loss to Dexter.
Mattanawcook is the LTC’s top rushing team with 2,282 yards, while Stearns of Millinocket is the league’s No. 2 passing team with 861 yards.
No. 5 Foxcroft Academy (3-5) at No. 4 Houlton (4-4), 7 p.m. Friday: This is a rematch of an Oct. 4 at the same location won 32-21 by Foxcroft. Since then, the two-time defending Class D North champion Ponies of Dover-Foxcroft have lost consecutive games to the LTC’s top three seeds, No. 2 Dexter, No. 3 Mattanawcook Academy and No. 1 Bucksport.
Houlton has won two of its last three outings and the Shiretowners secured their first home playoff game since resuming varsity play in 2014 with a 34-0 victory at Stearns last Friday.
No. 4 Ellsworth (3-5) vs. No. 1 Maranacook (8-0), 6:30 p.m. Friday at Readfield: Ellsworth and Maranacook had a competitive regular-season matchup on Oct. 4 with the Black Bears scoring a 22-12 victory.
Ellsworth has won three of its past five games and clinched a playoff spot last week with a 44-30 victory at Gray-New Gloucester behind senior Connor Crawford, who rushed for 274 yards and four touchdowns and added 96 passing yards.