Oct. 14—The regular season is winding down, but we have some area teams that don't look anywhere near ready to go quietly into the offseason. Oxford Hills, Telstar, Leavitt and Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale are all undefeated heading into Week 6, and Oak Hill hasn't lost since Week 1. Which of those win streaks is most impressive? They all look a little different, with various circumstances, lengths and strength of schedules. I'll give you first crack. Which one stands out the most.
You're right, they all look a bit different.
Telstar has looked dominant outside of its run-in with Maranacook on Homecoming week, and I think that close victory kept the Rebels on the right track. They look primed for a deep eight-man football run, and maybe a gold ball.
Leavitt looks, after its dismantling of Cape Elizabeth on Friday night at home, like the top team in Class C. It doesn't matter if the Hornets put senior quarterback Hunter Hayes in under center, or sophomore Noah Carpenter, they can move the ball easily and they have enough defense to stop even a top offense like the Capers have.
Oxford Hills and Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale both look like top teams in their classes, but are they? We will find out quickly, as the Vikings face Thornton Academy this Friday and the Ramblers host Foxcroft a week afterwards. And we can't forget about the streaking Oak Hill Raiders, who might have a say in Class D when it's all over.
Not to diminish any of what Oak Hill and Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale have done in Class D, or how surprisingly Telstar has all-but-dominated the eight-man Small School ranks, but I think Leavitt's and Oxford Hills' streaks are the top ones battling for this debate. While Leavitt's is shorter, opening against a great program like Wells, stiff-arming any previous demons against an always-game Gardiner, and beating a rolling Cape Elizabeth team with the Hornets' backup quarterback is super-impressive. But in the other corner, Oxford Hills has the single-most signature win of the season in our area so far, grinding out a win against 2019 Class A champ and perennial power Bonny Eagle. The Vikings' might also be the streak in most jeopardy, seeing as Thornton is another team that knocked off the Scots and has knocked off nearly everyone else over the past decade. Between those two teams, which streak do you think takes the title belt? Or is it one of the other streaks we've mentioned that gets your vote?
I think you have to go with Leavitt as the team of the two that can get through the regular season with its streak intact. Noah Carpenter ran over a defender up the middle on the first drive of the game against Cape and set the tone for the rest of the game. The Hornets do have a tough opponent in York this week, but their offensive line, spearheaded by Jack Boutaugh, gives Carpenter and his running backs so much space that I think it'll be hard to take them down.
Now, that's not to say that Eli Soehren can't find some more magic at QB for the Vikings and take down the Trojans of Thornton Academy. I think Soehren and his stable of weapons in Teigan Pelletier, Isaiah Oufiero and Matt Doucette will have to be on their A-game, but their A-game can beat any team in the state.
You watched Oak Hill run all the way to a win against Poland last week, do you think the Raiders are for real? Any other teams we should keep an eye on as the playoffs creep closer?
The fact that Oak Hill can toss the ball around and beat a good team like Bucksport, then ground and pound while making just one completion like it did the next week against Poland, makes the Raiders a dangerous opponent for anybody. But I want to see how they look against Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale to really judge them and their postseason prospects. And I'm really intrigued by this run Dirigo is on. I'm interested to see what the Cougars can do in the eight-man Small School playoffs.