The Mt. Blue Cougars will be playing more than just a little shorthanded when they travel to Walton Field tonight to face Edward Little. They’ll be missing their two best players.

Knee injuries suffered in last week’s upset loss to Mt. Ararat have sidelined linebacker/tight end Justin Lowe for the rest of the season and running back Mike Toothaker for tonight’s game.

Lowe, who was an Sun Journal All-Region selection last year after setting a school record for tackles, was injured during the second-half kickoff. Coach Gary Parlin said the senior took a shot right above the knee and originally thought the injury was to his thigh.

The Cougars expected to lose Lowe for tonight, but the news got much worse last night.

“He tore his MCL and his PCL,” Parlin said. “He felt better today at practice, and he was walking around on it, but we just got the MRI results back tonight, and he’s out for the year.”

The news was better on Toothaker, who suffered a sprained MCL and left the game in the third quarter after gaining 95 yards on 22 carries. The senior running back could play next week, but the Cougars have a bye and will be playing an exhibition against Nokomis. Parlin said he’ll hold him back for the team’s Oct. 13 meeting with Messalonskee.

Hal Robbins will likely get the majority of carries this week in Toothaker’s place. Sophomore Chad Simoneau will take over for Lowe at tight end, while seniors Alex Johnson and Pete Farnum will have to pick up the slack on the defensive side.

“They’ve been rotating in at linebacker this year, so we’ve got a couple of experienced guys there,” Parlin said. “But it’s tough losing your best offensive and defensive players in the same week.”

Hornets’ nest awaits Leavitt

Two wins at this point in the Eastern Class B football schedule are OK with Leavitt Area High School. Three would have been better.

It has been a weird two weeks for the Hornets, who could lament the one that got away against Morse (a 32-26 loss) but are equally entitled to a sigh of relief after a visit to Maranacook (a bizarre, 2-0 Leavitt triumph) that could have turned out much differently,

“We’re still young. We have a lot of seniors who have to go both ways,” said Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway. “We probably didn’t practice offense (before the Maranacook game) as much as we should have, because there were so many concerns with our defense against Morse.”

Not only that, but Hathaway surely knew what was coming.

Tonight’s home game against Belfast, also 2-2, begins what Hathaway hopes isn’t a harrowing three-game stretch. It looks nasty on paper, though. After this, Leavitt travels to Waterville and Gardiner.

“The top four teams in each division make it, so if you look at our schedule, we would make the playoffs if we beat Oak Hill (in the final game of the regular season),” said Hathaway. “We don’t want the kids to think that way. And you don’t want to go in fourth and end up going to Winslow for the first round. That isn’t going to be good for anybody.”

Winslow overpowered Lea-vitt, 44-8, on opening night in Turner.

Eddies riding shotgun

Leavitt, Jay and Mt. Blue have all parlayed the repeated use of the shotgun formation into week-in, week-out success in recent seasons, when their personnel permits.

Now add Edward Little to the ranks of the converted. First-year head coach Darren Hartley isn’t employing the no-huddle and the deep snap on every down. With 6-foot-7, 190-pound Troy Barnies able to peer over 11 helmets and survey the defense as if he’s playing a video game, however, you’re bound to see the Red Eddies make like Marv Levy’s early-1990s Buffalo Bills at least once in every game.

“We probably work on it every day in practice,” Hartley said. “Troy is able to make those quick reads and get the ball to our guys in a spot where they can use their speed to make people miss and get extra yards.”

Barnies led EL on a 10-play, 88-yard drive last Friday, all passes out of the shotgun formation, to wrap up a 28-22 victory over Skowhegan. The Red Eddies plucked the hook-and-ladder from the back pages of its playbook for one 23-yard gain, but otherwise it was a textbook display of quick outs and timing patterns.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.