Thoughts on the Weekend - Week Six

October 8, 2017

Thoughts on the weekend

- We’ve just passed the 3/4 pole of the regular season. In just two short weeks, our playoff field of 56 will be set. There will be plenty written in the next week about the playoff chase; who is in, who can move up, who make take a step back, and who is on the outside looking in.

- Whatever excitement that was generated when Lewiston’s Tanner Cortes snared an interception which had gone off the fingers of Cheverus running back Max Coffin vanished, as the Blue Devils were unable to capitalize on the gift of a turnover in Stags territory. Fortunately, the loss wasn’t as bleak as you might anticipate as Lewiston finished a spot ahead of Cheverus in Northern Class A.

- Southern Class A has turned into an upstairs-downstairs battle between Bonny Eagle, Scarborough, and Thornton Academy at the top and Deering, Sanford, and South Portland near the bottom. The bottom saw a reshuffling following South Portland’s 28-7 victory against Sanford. Last week it was 1-4 Deering in fourth, 3-2 Sanford in fifth, and 2-3 South Portland in sixth. This week it is 3-3 South Portland in fourth, 1-5 Deering in fifth, and 3-3 Sanford in sixth.

- How long has it been since an Edward Little team has been doing this well? You would need to go back to 2008 when the Red Eddies went 7-1 and finished second in the old Class A East. That team would go on to host Skowhegan in the Eastern Class A regional final, falling 20-0 to the Indians. This time around, 6-0 Edward Little will face stern tests against 3-3 Windham and then a Friday night Battle of the Bridge showdown at Bates College against Lewiston.

- How well did Scarborough do in just the first half against Windham? 24 and 52. The Red Storm led 24-0 at the end of the first quarter and had a 52-0 lead at halftime. This against a deplete Eagles squad that came into Friday night without six starters on offense and defense.

- For 36 minutes, the Southern Class B battle between Falmouth and Marshwood was every bit the close-fought game you would expect. The Hawks held a narrow 21-13 edge against the Yachtsmen. Then Marshwood got two quick scores just four minutes apart as Justin Bryant punctuated a nine-play drive with a five-yard score. This was followed up by Kyle Glidden completed a short-field drive with a three-yard blast. The score was now 35-13. Both sides would exchange a touchdown and it was Marshwood that earned the 42-19 home win.

- The result did little to change the standings for these two teams. Like last week, Marshwood still is in first place and Falmouth is still in third place. And the gulf between Falmouth and fourth place Biddeford remains significant - 55 Heal points. The Tigers final two opponents are 1-5 Noble and 6-0 Kennebunk.

- The Westbrook Blue Blazes snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat in Farmington on Friday thanks to the late heroics of Demante Loureiro and Dimitri Reid. With 2:30 remaining in the fourth quarter and Mt. Blue up 27-20, Demante capped a drive with a seven-yard touchdown and then the successful two-point conversion on a run that leapfrogged Westbrook into a 28-27 lead. Then on the Cougars final drive it was Dimitri that came up with an end zone pick that gave Westbrook the come-from-behind victory on the road.

- It has been a long season for Brunswick. But their best chance for that elusive first win was on Friday against the 3-2 Lawrence Bulldogs. The Dragons had a lead at three separate segments in the game, only for Lawrence rally. The final dagger turned out to be Brandon Ballard’s first yard score in the fourth quarter that gave Lawrence the 23-20 win. They will have another chance this Friday to get that first win and get a shot at the playoffs when they host the sixth place 1-5 Mt. Blue Cougars.

- Sure, Messalonskee’s running back Austin Pelletier has turned all sorts of heads with his ground game. But his greatest contribution to the Eagles 36-33 win over Brewer on Friday was his fourth quarter interception that halted the Witches last-minute drive. He also had another interception to go with his 256 rushing yards and a touchdown.

- When there is an offensive slug-fest like the one that took place between Biddeford and Skowhegan, there are all sorts of things to focus on. We could discuss on Skowhegan’s Marcus Christopher and his 426 passing yards and seven touchdowns. Or that the game tied for the fourth highest combined score in a high school football game since 2004. We could mention Biddeford’s Cam Lantagne who ran for 101 yards and three touchdowns. There were the two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the game. But the lasting memory was the final play of the game. Biddeford scored on the opening possession in overtime and scored the two-point conversion to take the 56-48 lead. Unlike the pro game, high school football consists of each team getting a chance from the ten-yard line to score. The game does not end if one team scores a touchdown on the opening drive, as the other team will get their chance. Other than the play clock, the drive is not timed. So when Marcus threw a six-yard scoring strike to Cameron Barnes, Skowhegan converting on the two-point try was the only way the game would be extended. That wouldn’t happen though as Tigers linebacker Colin Petit was untouched as he wrapped up Marcus for the sack and the game-winning play.

- Sidenote - the last time two teams combined for this high a score was in 2014 when Belfast defeated Madison 82 to 60.

- The Lake Region versus York game may not have been on too many peoples radars on Friday. The Lakers came into the game in fifth while the Wildcats were ranked seventh in Southern Class C. But both teams have been on some very interesting runs this season. As we mentioned last week, Lake Region is poised for their best season since 2003 and were winners of their last four games. York had won their past three games after starting out 0-2. But after going up 13-6 at the half, it was all York the rest of the way. The win also allowed them to jump into third place in Southern Class C behind Leavitt and Fryeburg Academy.

- Andrew Hartell of Cape Elizabeth and Tim Albert of Leavitt combined for 587 yards through the air on a combined 23 completions on 45 passes. But the one completion that mattered the most will go down as an interception. Leavitt’s Caleb Bowen took away Andrew’s pass on a first and goal from Leavitt’s four-yard line with 33 seconds left. And although a penalty after the interception prevented the pick-six, the interception ended Cape Elizabeth’s last-gasp effort from four yards out and kept Leavitt undefeated.

- When a game gets bogged down, somebody is going to break through. That’s just the reality of football. And the one that usually breaks through is the team that wins the battle in the trenches. That was appropriate for Lisbon’s 22-6 win against Spruce Mountain. As Lisbon coach Chris Kates said after the game, “We were trying to wait until we could adjust in the second half, but I am real happy with how the way the offensive line responded in the second half.”

- The Mountain Valley Falcons are playing their best football in years. They won their fourth game on Saturday against Old Orchard Beach, their fourth in Southern Class D, and their defense has not allowed a touchdown in ten quarters. And they’ll need that momentum in the next two weeks. They will travel to Madison this Friday to take on the Bulldogs. And on the season-finale they will host Wells.

- Since we have posted the Southern Class C standings, the comments have exploded. And we do understand that it appears unusual that 1-5 Gardiner continues to be ranked higher than 4-2 Cape Elizabeth, 5-1 Morse, and 4-2 Lake Region. The Tigers’ success in the standings is, in all reality, attributed solely to the fact that the one team they beat, Morse, beat a Class B opponent and four Class C opponents. Without repeating the entire MPA explanation of Heal Points (although we have no problem sharing the link as many times as is necessary), we decided to break down where these mysterious Heal Points are coming from.

Preliminary index points earned towards the tournament index/Heal Points. They are derived only from the teams that are defeated and then divided by 8.

Gardiner defeated Morse (5-1, 260 pts, 32.5000)
32.5000 divided by 8, multiplied by 10, = 40.6250 Heal Points

Cape Elizabeth defeated Yarmouth (0-6, 1 pt, 1.0000), Gardiner (1-5, 50 pts, 6.2500), Maine Central Institute (3-3, 150 pts, 18.7500), Gray-New Gloucester (0-6, 1 pt, 1.0000)
27 divided by 8, multiplied by 10, = 33.7500 Heal Points

Morse defeated Gray-New Gloucester (0-6, 1 pt, 1.0000), Yarmouth (0-6, 1 pt, 1.0000), Mt. Ararat (2-4, 120 pts, 15.0000), Belfast (0-6, 1 pt, 1.0000), Freeport (1-5, 50 pts, 6.2500)
24.25 divided by 8, multiplied by 10, = 30.3125 Heal Points

Lake Region defeated Freeport (1-5, 50 pts, 6.2500), Gray-New Gloucester (0-6, 1 pt, 1.0000), Yarmouth (0-6, 1 pt, 1.0000), Waterville (2-4, 110 pts, 13.7500)
22 divided by 8, multiplied by 10, = 27.5000 Heal Points

Regardless of merit, Gardiner beat a 5-1 team, Cape Elizabeth has beaten four teams with a combined 4-20 record, Morse has beaten five teams with a combined 3-27 record, and Lake Region has beaten four teams with a combined 3-21 record. This is the ranking system in place.

- Quote of the week
"All I can say now is that we are more than excited to play Kennebunk. That’s all where my mind is at now."
Tommy Springer, Marshwood quarterback

- Unbeaten tracker
There are 8 unbeaten teams in Maine after week six
The longest active winning streak belongs to Bonny Eagle - 17 consecutive wins
The longest active losing streak belongs to Gray-New Gloucester - 17 consecutive losses

- First place teams after week six
Class A North - Edward Little
Class A South - Bonny Eagle
Class B North - Lawrence
Class B South - Marshwood
Class C North - Mount Desert Island
Class C South - Leavitt
Class D North - Foxcroft Academy
Class D South - Wells
Class E - Boothbay

- Games of interest in week seven
Fryeburg Academy at Cape Elizabeth
Leavitt at Mount Desert Island
Lisbon at Wells
Marshwood at Kennebunk
Oceanside at Winslow