Oct. 9—Coach Scott Franzose joked that maybe Mt. Blue should start preparing for a opponents on Wednesday and not at the beginning of the week.
The Cougars found out in the middle of the week that they'd be playing Old Town on Friday, after their scheduled opponent, Brunswick canceled the rest of its season due to a hazing investigation. The Cougars were in danger of missing out on their homecoming game and their senior night. Instead they lined up a game with Old Town and on Friday earned their first win of the season, 37-7 over the Coyotes.
"We've really, like most programs, are trying to find their way through COVID and then deal with things we usually deal with like injuries, trying to get a routine and things like that," Franzose said. "We've had a bumpy season, and missing two games early didn't help."
On senior night, Mt. Blue received boosts from its senior captains to earn its first win of the year.
"On both sides, offensively we spread it out a lot, we have a lot of weapons and we believe in assignment football," Franzose said. "As a team we have better chemistry. Haisen Foster, he's our senior captain, he has moved into the center position and given us consistency. Haisen was tremendous on the defensive line, Evan Downing, a senior captain, has moved from backfield, to O-line, to backfield again. We joke that he has one number on his jersey and one on his helmet, but he's another kid that he just wants to win. He's a fabulous leader and is stepping up for us."
Through five weeks of canceled games and losses, Fanzose said the Cougars "have worked through adversity," and Friday's win was a welcome result.
"It was really fun to see them compete and win," Franzose said.
Spruce Mountain took care of Mountain Valley on Friday night, 46-16, and head coach David Frey gave a lot of the credit to the team's defense.
"I thought we played a lot better defensively," Frey said. "I've been talking to them all week about how we indeed need to be more consistent on defense. At times we play good defense and then lose focus. Sometimes not understanding lining up and not talking, making sure we have all things covered. They played a lot better and solid defensively and are finally starting to put it together and gel.
Reece Davis scored twice on offense and returned an interception for a touchdown, Cam Phillips threw some touchdown passes as the Phoenix improved to 4-2 on the season.
The Phoenix's confidence is rising in their first season of eight-man football.
"I feel real confident with these guys," Frey said. "I feel the first game we played against Mt. Ararat, we didn't have Cam and another starter, then you discover a couple young kids that have now helped out and contributed. Playing Cheverus, we turned it over four times, but we can play with them. That's what I told these guys, we can play with these guys. If we look at the film, you see the improvements we've made."
It takes more than just good running backs to run for 423 yards in a game.
Those backs need room and space to run, and that's just what Oak Hill's ball carriers had in Friday night's 35-20 win over Poland.
Raiders head coach Chad Stowell said the offensive line was "awesome" in the first half, when Oak Hill ran the ball 37 times for 253 yards — including on its first 23 offensive plays, for 136 yards — to give the Raiders a 20-12 lead.
"We talked a lot about the fact that they were going to change up their defense fronts," Stowell said, "and Latrell Williams, who's our center, is our captain of our offensive line, came over and talked to me and we were able to communicate where we had gaps and move guys. And I think when we communicate as an offensive line, we're really successful."
The Raiders ran the ball 34 more times in the second half, including the first 20 plays, and added 170 yards on the ground. And after passing its way past Bucksport the week before, Oak Hill only gained 14 yards in the air on one completion.
Telstar head coach Tim O'Conor was preparing for a close game with Lake Region on Friday. His planning probably didn't include the Rebels defense forcing eight turnovers.
"All cylinders were clicking," O'Connor said. "My defense was going great. Lake Region had eight turnovers. Matt Dillon had two fumble recoveries, Andrew Leighton had one, Bode Leach had a pick-six right before the half. They just turned the ball over all the time and created all kinds of opportunities."
Telstar's 52-0 victory was kick-started by the defense, but quarterback Will Doyle scored five touchdowns to help the Rebels pull away and into the final week at 6-0.
"I have seen Will get better as a quarterback, all of his receiving core is getting better and running routes correctly; then we analyze what the defense is doing and then run whatever play that would best fit what they're doing," O'Connor said. "We are extremely pleased with the progress we've made."
Leavitt quarterback Noah Carpenter scored five touchdowns in a 39-27 win over Cape Elizabeth on Friday night. Senior quarterback Hunter Hayes has been battling injuries, so the Hornets have been juggling the two under center.
"He means a lot, you saw it tonight," Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. "Noah is one of the best players in the state, I think. We've been playing two quarterbacks all year and it's worked. We have two and we find ways to play them. Tonight, we needed Hunter more on defense, and it was kind of a short week for him. Noah knew he'd get more of the reps on offense and Hunter got a few reps and those two have handled it fantastically. They are so good with each other, they have each other's back and Noah was great tonight."
Hayes intercepted a pass on defense in the first quarter and had a few plays at quarterback, but Carpenter took much of the load.
"Hunter had a short practice week," Hathaway said. "We will continue to use them both moving forward and have a lot of flexibility there to do some different things."