It was a long bus trip for the Brewer High School Witches when they traveled to Brunswick for the Class B North football championship game last season.
But the trip home was even longer after the Witches were thumped by the Dragons 49-0. Brunswick led 42-0 at the half.
The Witches were without two suspended starters and lost quarterback Logan Rogerson to a hip injury in the first half.
Rogerson had thrown for 172 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 114 yards and another score in a 34-27 regular-season win over Brunswick.
Brewer returns to Brunswick on Friday seeking payback as the 5-0 teams square off to decide which will be the division’s only unbeaten.
The other North clash of 5-0 teams features Saturday’s 1 p.m. Class D matchup sending Dexter to Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield. Orono is the other unbeaten in Class D, and the Red Riots entertain winless Washington Academy of East Machias on Friday night.
Brewer Witches (5-0) at Brunswick Dragons (5-0), 7 p.m. Friday: Senior center/defensive tackle Cam Green said Brewer has a “ton of motivation” after last year’s lopsided loss. “Our heads are locked in. We want this game.”
“It will come down to which team wants it more, which one has more heart and puts more effort into it,” said senior running back/linebacker Trey Wood.
The game will be decided in the trenches since both teams are run-oriented. The 240-pound Wood leads B North with 1,073 yard on 141 carries and 16 touchdowns.
The Dragons feature Hunter Garrett, the league’s No. 2 rusher (40 carries, 701 yards), along with Jesse Devereaux (57-458) and Ben Palizay (32-for-324).
“It’s going to be a smash-mouth game,” said Brewer coach Nick Arthers.
“We’ve got to establish the line of scrimmage. They always have a tough front line,” he added.
Witches quarterback Cody Wood has thrown just 29 times, completing 17 for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Brunswick’s Christian Jensen is 12-for-21, 227 yards and six touchdowns.
“We’ve got to play assignment football,” Arthers said. “We’ve got play into our gaps, and our linebackers are going to have to make plays. We also can’t get lulled to sleep by the run and let them throw one over the top for a long pass.”
Arthers said the Witches will need contributions from Garrett Ireland (43-226) and Zac Duncan (31-204).
Brunswick is averaging 53 points per game, and Brewer puts up 40.
Maine Central Institute Huskies (5-0) at Dexter Tigers (5-0), 1 p.m. Saturday: Tom Bertrand said his Huskies will have their hands full trying to contain Dexter quarterback Brayden Miller, who has completed 32 of 61 passes for 607 yards and 12 touchdowns. Zach White and Chandler Perkins have each caught 12 balls for 269 and 130 yards, respectively.
“He is really good. He makes a lot of things happen,” said Bertrand.
Tyler Beem and Brandon Allen have rushed for 441 and 369 yards, respectively, and Bertrand said the Tigers “are a lot more active defensively than they’ve been in the past. They’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
Quarterback Josh Buker (20 of 34 passing, 345 yards, 10 touchdowns) also has rushed for 250 yards. He returned three punts for touchdowns vs. Houlton last week.
Eli Bussell (53-460), Willie Moss (36-232), Pedro Matos (21-206) and Adam Bertrand (29-191) all are averaging over 6 yards per carry.
Bertrand said MCI has benefited from having a balanced attack.
“We move the ball around to a lot of guys,” he said.
Madison/Carrabec Bulldogs (5-0) at Mount Desert Island Trojans (4-1), 7 p.m. Friday: The Bulldogs stunned defending two-time state champ Winslow and ended the Raiders’ 25-game win streak two weeks ago 28-21 and followed that up with a 67-0 win at Waterville last weekend.
Madison/Carrabec coach Scott Franzose, a former Bulldogs quarterback who graduated in 1986, said it has been “heartwarming” to see his players evolve into a very good team and earn the statement-making win over Winslow.
Nick Morales, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last year, Sean Whalen and quarterback Evan Bess have been the offensive catalysts, but Franzose expects a battle from MDI.
Coach Mark Shields’ Trojans are led by junior running backs Croix Albee and Colby Lee. MDI’s only loss was a 40-20 setback at Winslow in which the Trojans turned the ball over four times.
Winslow Black Raiders (4-1) at Foxcroft Academy Ponies (3-2), 7 p.m. Friday: This is the BDN Game of the Week, which will be live streamed on the BDN website by SportsNet Maine. Winslow bounced back from the Madison/Carrabec loss with a 48-27 win over Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston. Winslow has scored at least 40 points in every game except the Madison/Carrabec contest. Foxcroft has won three straight after losing to MDI and Madison/Carrabec. Foxcroft has outscored its last three opponents 117-6.
Skowhegan Indians (3-2) at Messalonskee Eagles, 7 p.m. Friday: This contest will feature the aerial onslaught of Skowhegan’s Garrett McSweeney (73-for-135, 1,176 yards, 16 touchdowns) against Messalonskee’s balanced running attack featuring Austin Pelletier (68-79) and Colby Dexter (40-453).
Bangor Rams (0-5) at Cheverus Stags (3-2), 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Portland: Cheverus of Portland is coming off a hard-fought 35-27 loss to 4-1 Portland. Bangor has been outscored 201-54.
A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the BDN Game of the Week. The live stream will feature Winslow at Foxcroft Academy.