A Bucksport football player brings down a Mount Desert Island runner during a 2017 game in Bucksport. Credit: Ashley L. Conti

It’s only Week 2 of the high school football season, but a win this weekend is equally as valuable as a victory when the leaves turn color and the weather gets colder.

That’s the backdrop for a key early Little Ten Conference clash at Carmichael Field in Bucksport on Friday night when the Golden Bucks host Dexter.

This game matches Class D North’s two most veteran and physical lines, with both teams showing off that strength during convincing Week 1 victories.

Dexter rushed for all 339 of its yards during Saturday’s 37-10 non-conference victory over Madison-Carrabec and limited the Bulldogs to just 91 yards of total offense.

Bucksport amassed 241 of its 304 total yards on the ground during Friday night’s 35-6 victory over Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln and yielded just 130 yards defensively.

“They’re big, they’re physical and they’re well coached like they always are, so we’ll see where it goes,” Dexter coach Andrew Shorey said of the Golden Bucks.

Bucksport’s front line, led by seniors David Gross and Dawson Eaton and juniors Gavin Billings and Owen Gaudreau, averages 250 pounds per player. Dexter’s line isn’t quite as big, but also boasts considerable experience in seniors Colton Tibbetts and Parker Richardson and junior Robbie Dorman.

“We’re very excited to see where things go, and we’re very optimistic about how things got started [against Madison-Carrabec],” Shorey said. “We’re just hoping it’s a building block to something else.”

Bangor (1-0) at Lewiston (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Bangor found many sources of optimism during its 42-21 victory over Class B Brewer last Friday, particularly offensive balance combined with a run-stopping defense over the last three quarters. Coach Dave Morris’ club enters Class A play in a battle of rebuilding teams.

The Blue Devils will attempt to rebound from a season-opening 40-0 loss to nearby Oxford Hills of South Paris. Lewiston fumbled on its first possession after spotting Oxford Hills a quick 7-0 lead, and when the Vikings cashed in on the turnover to make it 14-0, the Blue Devils struggled to generate offense.

Bangor also started slowly in its opener, trailing 21-7 late in the first quarter before scoring 35 unanswered points to defeat Brewer.

Both Bangor and Lewiston start sophomore quarterbacks, Max Clark for Bangor and Kameron Caron for Lewiston.

Medomak Valley (1-0) at Belfast (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday: Two teams looking for upward mobility within Class C North took solid steps in that direction with Week 1 victories.

Medomak Valley shut down Nokomis of Newport 38-0 at Lawrence High School in Fairfield. Coach Ryan Snell’s Panthers doubled up Nokomis in total yardage as Drew Severson rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown and Levi Ward added 81 yards and two scores.

Belfast was dominant in a 26-7 victory at John Bapst of Bangor. First-year Lions head coach Brian Goff got off to a successful start thanks in part to Issak Cunningham (15 carries, 105 yds., TD) and returned an interception 54 yards for another score.

Chris Fournier paced Belfast’s defense with 12 tackles, including a sack.

Gardiner (0-1) at Brewer (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Two Class B schools coming off losses to Class A opponents renew an old rivalry in Brewer’s home opener at historic Doyle Field.

The Tigers, who competed in Class C South last year, took a 20-15 lead early in the fourth quarter on a touchdown run by quarterback Sean Michaud and maintained it until Windham scored the winning touchdown with 46.1 seconds remaining.

Brewer raced out to a two-touchdown lead against Bangor behind touchdown runs by senior Kaleb Bryant, before the Rams rallied for a 42-21 victory.

Mount View (0-1) at Foxcroft Academy (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday: The defending Class D North champion Ponies play their home opener, giving fans who didn’t see the team’s season-opening win at Washington Academy of East Machias the chance to get their first look at the reigning LTC player of the week.

Junior quarterback Logan Martin showed off his versatility, rushing for 84 yards and three scores on four carries, completing 3 of 4 passes for 50 yards and a touchdown and catching a 19-yard TD pass.

Mount View of Thorndike had a short practice week after its opener against Houlton was moved from Saturday to Monday. Houlton won 40-0.

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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...