Maine high school football teams ready for championships and regional finals
By Adam Robinson, Bangor Daily News Staff
Maine is heading into the eight-player state championship games and regional finals for 11-player teams. Take a look at how some area teams fared this past weekend.
Orono is looking untouchable
Orono has avenged all three of its regular season losses this postseason, beating Bucksport, Dexter and most recently Stearns to reach the eight-player small school state championship game.
After Orono lost to Bucksport in week four to fall to 2-2 on the season, coach Bob Sinclair said the season would be a “dog fight.”
Orono followed that loss with a loss to Dexter, but then went undefeated for the rest of the season.
The Red Riots scored 57 against Stearns, with running back Ben Francis running for three touchdowns. It’s a departure from the loaded passing game that Orono has played this postseason, but Francis stayed ready for his number to be called.
“They put some on me to run the ball tonight because all teams know we are a pass first team,” Francis said. “To be able to know we can run it up the gut and into the end zone, it just enhances that level of skill to what it looked like tonight.”
It’s both Francis’ first year playing football and the first year for his brother, Will Francis, who had two touchdowns in Friday night’s win. The two, as well as junior Pierce Walston, who is playing football for the first season since eighth grade, have been huge pieces to the team’s success this season.
Orono is now gearing up for its title game with Old Orchard Beach, who defeated Dirigo 20-16 in the small school South final on Friday.
The state championship game will be 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Cony High School in Augusta, Maine.
In the large school state championship game, No. 3 Waterville will face off against No. 2 Yarmouth at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cony High School.
Hermon rushes to rematch with Medomak Valley
Hermon’s Gary Glidden had his biggest game of the season in the Class C North semifinal on Friday night, scoring seven touchdowns while running for 328 yards.
The No. 2 Hawks (7-3), behind Glidden’s huge game, are heading to the Class C North final to battle with No. 1 Medomak Valley (7-2), a rematch of the regular season finale in which Hermon lost 14-12.
Medomak Valley beat Winslow 21-13 on Saturday to reach the regional final.
Hermon will lean on Hunter Kenna, the Big 11’s co-lineman of the year, and Jaykob Dow, a Big 11 first team lineman. If Glidden can have another big night on offense and the Hawks can replicate its second half it had against Oceanside in which they allowed just eight points, the Hawks will find themselves in the Class C final.
Skowhegan and Falmouth on collision course in B North
No. 4 Falmouth, who lost to Cony in the regular season after three overtimes, avenged its loss on Friday by beating the No. 1 Rams 35-28 which was the score in week eight.
The Navigators will play No. 2 Skowhegan in the B North final after the Black Raiders won 66-48. Skowhegan quarterback Adam Savage scored seven touchdowns and tallied 462 total yards, continuing Skowhegan’s big season in which the team has scored 34.1 points per game.
Foxcroft faces Winthrop for fourth time in two seasons
In Class D, No. 1 Foxcroft Academy beat No. 8 Madison 69-0 in the first round of the playoffs on Friday and will face No. 4 Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale in the semifinals.
The matchup is a rematch of the Class D title game last year in which the Ponies took down the Ramblers 19-16. Friday’s playoff game will be the fourth game between the two teams in the last two years with the first three won by Foxcroft.
“There’s definitely some familiarity there for both teams,” Foxcroft coach Danny White said. “We know each other’s strengths and perhaps weaknesses and it comes down to being able to execute in a pressure situation in the game before the title game. All three games were close. … We feel like we’re playing pretty good football right now and trying to put on another good football performance.”
Foxcroft is feeling good and is averaging 53 points per game since its early-season loss to Lisbon.
“We’re trying to keep things as basic as we can in terms of we want to be able to be efficient on Friday and we want to be fundamentally sound on Friday which is something we weren’t against Winthrop in the opener,” White added. “We committed 10 penalties. We’ve been pretty honest with the kids and the kids have understood we need to be a whole lot better than in that first game.”
The other semifinal game is No. 3 Lisbon facing No. 2 Freeport. In the regular season, Freeport won 35-22 in week one.