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Oct. 22—Bangor High School's pursuit of a home playoff game come Nov. 5 would seem in good shape, given the Rams' 6-1 record through the first seven weeks of their nine-game regular-season schedule.
But as coach Dave Morris' club prepares for its final two games, beginning with Friday night's clash with perennial Class A power Bonny Eagle of Standish at Cameron Stadium, not everything is easily defined.
With several teams in the running to secure the two hosting slots for the quarterfinals, the final Crabtree point ratings — which include a strength-of-schedule element and determine football standings in Maine — probably won't be clear until after next week's regular-season finale.
"You can't worry about that. You just take each game as it comes and hopefully you're playing well," said Morris, whose team concludes its regular-season slate Oct. 29 at Oxford Hills.
The Rams are playing without standout senior halfback Joey Morrison, who is out for the season after suffering a knee injury during the first quarter of Bangor's 49-13 victory over Edward Little of Auburn on Oct. 8.
Classmate Cabryn Streams stepped in against Edward Little and rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries, then had another strong outing last week as Bangor defeated Lewiston 49-19.
"Cabryn's really doing what we knew he could do and he's doing a heck of a job," Morris said.
The fact that Bangor was playing Lewiston last weekend — for the second time this season — brings up another question for the Rams, this one regarding their ultimate place in the standings.
Undefeated Thornton Academy of Saco and second-seeded Oxford Hills currently are in line to earn the division's two first-round byes, with the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds slated to host quarterfinals come early November.
Four teams are in the running for those two hosting slots, Bonny Eagle, Bangor, Scarborough and Sanford.
Bonny Eagle (4-2) has had one game canceled that it was unable to make up, while Bangor and 1-6 Lewiston played for a second time this fall on short notice last Friday after 3-3 Sanford had to cancel its game against the Rams due to COVID cases.
Now COVID cases will prevent Scarborough from playing Oxford Hills this week, which means that as of the moment only Bangor still has the chance to play its full nine-game schedule among the four hosting hopefuls while Bonny Eagle, Scarborough and Sanford would each play less than a full slate.
While Bangor is enjoying its best regular season since winning seven games in 2011, Bonny Eagle has won six state championships in the last 17 years beginning with its 29-19 victory over Bangor in the 2004 final.
Coach Kevin Cooper's club has lost only to 7-0 Thornton Academy and 6-1 Oxford Hills so far this season.
"With Bonny Eagle, they've earned respect for what they've done over the last many years," Morris said. "They've got great coaches, they've got a great program. I anticipate a very physical game and we'll see how it goes."
Two other 11-player football games regionally with top-of-the-standing implications also are on tap Friday night.
Medomak Valley (5-2) versus Oceanside (2-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Rockland: Medomak Valley of Waldoboro is the big story in Class C North as the division concludes its regular season this week. Coach Ryan Snell's Panthers lead the Crabtree points and are riding a four-game winning streak after Hayden Staples and Levi Ward combined for nearly 300 rushing yards and three touchdowns in Monday's 40-12 victory over Hampden Academy. Oceanside is ranked third in C North but has had three games canceled this season and has not played since a 56-14 loss at Winslow on Oct. 9. Medomak's closest challenger for the top spot in Class C North is 4-2 Winslow, whose regular-season final Saturday has been canceled because of COVID-19 cases at its scheduled opponent, Belfast.
Foxcroft Academy (6-0) versus Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale (5-0), 6 p.m. Friday at Winthrop: This is the game of the year in the statewide Class D as the two unbeatens battle for the No. 1 seed for the playoffs that begin in this division the weekend of Nov. 5-6. Foxcroft boasts a balanced offense led by quarterback Austin Seavey and running back Jesse Drury, who rushed for 229 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries during last week's 41-6 victory over Poland. Winthrop will be coming off a short week, as a power failure that knocked out the lights at Maxwell Field last Friday night pushed the Ramblers' game against Freeport to be postponed until Monday. Winthrop won 40-14 behind 201 passing yards from quarterback Andrew Foster and 112 rushing yards from Logan Baird.