We’ve made it to week eight of the Maine high school football season, and with it comes the final week of the regular season for Classes B, C and D, as well as the first round of playoffs for the eight-player small school division. Class A has one more week of regular season play after this week.
No. 6 Houlton at No. 3 Mattanawcook
Prediction: Mattanawcook 38, Houlton 26
Houlton will travel to Mattanawcook for an eight-player small school quarterfinal, a rematch of the two teams’ showdown just two weeks ago in which Mattanawcook came away with a 54-40 win.
Houlton’s loss to Mattanawcook was sandwiched between the team’s two wins of the season, a 42-6 victory over St. John Valley and, most recently, a 48-30 win against Mount View to end the regular season.
Before those wins, Houlton struggled out of the gate, losing its first four games. However, its scoring output increased with each loss, going from eight points in the opening game to 52 points against Stearns in a 56-52 loss.
Mattanawcook has averaged 50 points per game and finished the regular season with a 5-2 record, ending the regular season campaign with a 42-38 loss to Orono.
Still, Mattanawcook can score with the best of the small school division. I think its firepower will be too much for Houlton, as it was two weeks ago during the regular season, and Mattanawcook will come away with the win.
No. 5 Orono at No. 4 Bucksport
Prediction: Orono 36, Bucksport 30
Orono has been held to less than 30 points in a game just once, and it came against Bucksport on Sept. 23, a 36-15 loss.
Since the loss Orono has gone 2-1 while averaging 46.3 points per game. The only loss was a 4-point loss to Dexter.
Bucksport has lost two of its last three games, finishing the regular season with a 38-30 loss to undefeated Dexter.
The week before, however, Bucksport scored 70 points against Mount View in a huge win, proving they can put up points when things go right.
“We have a young QB who is very good, Ayden Maguire,” Bucksport coach Joel Sankey said. “Last year he threw for 1,000 yards and he’s done that this year. He’s very good. We have some receivers and running backs, offensively and defensively on both sides. Those kids play and they’re good. They’re going to have to step up on Friday because Orono is really good.”
Sankey isn’t taking anything from the two teams’ first meeting earlier in the season.
“I just want to eliminate our mistakes,” Sankey added. “We’ve beaten ourselves in a couple games by making foolish mistakes. We hope to clean that up.”
I think Friday night’s quarterfinal matchup will be close. Bucksport is in its first season of eight-player football, while Orono is in its second. Sankey said the Golden Bucks have been trying to transition into eight-player football all season and get used to it.
With that said, I think Orono’s experience and two-game winning streak will help give the Riots the edge.
Bangor at Sanford
Prediction: Bangor 24, Sanford 21
I think Bangor quarterback Jack Schuck leading the Rams over the Edward Little Red Eddies last week was huge for the confidence of him and the team as a whole.
Schuck said after the win that his team felt like they could beat Edward Little going into the game and that that was the difference in getting the Rams’ first win of the season.
Sanford is a good but beatable team, and I think the Rams have enough confidence and momentum to earn the win.
Foxcroft at Freeport
Prediction: Foxcroft 35, Freeport 26
This very well may be the Class D final in a few weeks, but for now the Class D regular season finale is shaping up to be a great one.
Caden Crocker got hurt in Foxcroft’s loss to Lisbon but has played in every other game and has been a gamebreaker on the outside for the Ponies.
Freeport is coming off a win against Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, making the race for first a four-team battle.
Foxcroft has been on fire since the Lisbon loss and I believe will keep the momentum going Friday.
Hermon at Medomak Valley
Prediction: Hermon 30, Medomak 12
Both 5-2 heading into Week 8, Hermon and Medomak Valley meet to decide who gets the top seed in Class C North.
Medomak holds the top seed by fewer than three Crabtree points at the moment.
Hermon has scored 114 points during its current three-game win streak, giving up just 19 points to its opponents.
Gary Glidden has been on fire out of the backfield for the Hawks, while quarterback Johnny Kokoska has done his job under center, and their firepower is why Hermon will edge out Medomak on Friday and take the top C North seed into the postseason.