The Class A ranks join the playoff fray for Week 10 of the high school football season, with the state’s eight largest-school programs set to play quarterfinals while Classes B, C and D advance to the semifinal stage.
No. 6 Bangor (4-5) at No. 3 Scarborough (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday: Bangor already has won three more games this fall than it had in the previous three years combined despite back-to-back losses to No. 2 Bonny Eagle of Standish and No. 4 Oxford Hills of South Paris to close out the regular season.
Coach Dave Morris’ Rams will face a huge challenge in its postseason opener, as Scarborough came to the Queen City in Week 3 and handled Bangor 42-7 in behind the speedy Jarrett Flaker.
Flaker, the reigning New England champion in the 200-meter dash, returned two punts for touchdowns and also had scoring runs of 31 and 3 yards as the Red Storm used the big play — Evan Foley also returned an interception for a score — to subdue the Rams.
Scarborough, the 2017 Class A state title winner, is coming off a 28-27 loss to top-ranked and defending state champion Thornton Academy of Saco last week.
No. 5 Skowhegan (5-4) at No. 1 Brunswick (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday: This semifinal matches the only schools to capture the Class B North championship since 2013, with Brunswick winning the regional crown in four of the last five seasons and Skowhegan advancing to the state final in 2017.
Both teams are hot, with Brunswick remaining undefeated after a 47-0 quarterfinal win over No. 8 Brewer — head coach Dan Cooper’s 100th victory with the Dragons.
Skowhegan showed off its defense in a 27-0 quarterfinal victory at No. 4 Windham. Coach Ryan Libby’s club now has won four straight games and five of six since an 0-3 start that included a 48-7 Week 1 loss at Brunswick.
The winner will play the survivor of Friday’s other semifinal between No. 7 Mt. Blue of Farmington (6-3) and No. 3 Lawrence of Fairfield (8-1) for the regional crown.
No. 4 Hermon (5-4) at No. 1 Winslow (8-1), 1 p.m. Saturday: Winslow scored a 37-14 victory over Hermon in Week 7, but that marked the fewest points the victorious Black Raiders had scored in a game since their season-opening 18-6 loss at Wells.
Both teams advanced comfortably in their quarterfinals last weekend. Winslow led the ball control-oriented No. 8 seed, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, just 6-0 at intermission before pulling away to a 42-6 victory.
Hermon defeated No. 5 Belfast 34-13 behind senior running back River Mullen, who rushed for 192 yards and three touchdowns.
No. 3 John Bapst (7-2) vs. No. 2 Maine Central Institute (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Pittsfield: These teams will meet for the first time since 2014 when both were in Class D.
John Bapst is having its best season since then, and last week scored its first postseason victory since 2012 with a 14-0 win over No. 6 Oceanside of Rockland.
MCI has played the tougher regular-season schedule, losing only to Wells and Winslow — teams with a combined 15-3 record. The Huskies topped No. 7 Old Town 34-6 in the quarters last week.
No. 5 Foxcroft Acad. (4-5) at No. 1 Bucksport (7-0), 7 p.m. Friday: Bucksport has had plenty of time to prepare for the two-time Class D North champion Ponies, as coach Joel Sankey’s club shut out Foxcroft 53-0 in its regular-season finale at Dover-Foxcroft, then had a bye last week to await its opponent from the regional quarterfinals.
Foxcroft ended a rare three-game losing streak in that first-round game, traveling to No. 4 Houlton and pulling away in the second half for a 46-14 victory.
Bucksport, seeking its first Little Ten Conference crown since 2013, will be playing in just its second game in the last four weeks. The Golden Bucks also had a bye in Week 7 of the regular season before its first meeting with Foxcroft.
No. 3 Mattanawcook Academy (6-3) at No. 2 Dexter (7-1), noon Saturday: These teams also will be meeting for the second time in three weeks, with Dexter defeating the Lynx 21-8 at Lincoln in Week 8 to secure second place in the LTC and a first-round playoff bye.
Mattanawcook, which had a five-game winning streak ended by the Tigers, rebounded nicely in its quarterfinal with a 34-6 victory over Stearns of Millinocket. Brayden Lujan had another big game for coach Brad Bishop’s club, rushing for 223 yards and three touchdowns to surpass 1,000 yards for the season.
Dexter has won six consecutive games since a Week 2 loss at Bucksport and will be seeking to advance to the Class D North title game for the second time in four years after reaching the LTC final in 2016.