TURNER — Leavitt Area High School has lost one football game in three years. Nobody needs to remind Jake Posik that he didn’t play in it.

Mountain Valley owned the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball in last year’s Class B championship at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

Posik wasn’t dressed much differently than the other 2,000 spectators from Turner, Leeds and Greene. Nor was he any better equipped to do something about it, hobbling along the artificial turf sideline with a partially torn left Achilles.

“It was kind of a helpless feeling,” Posik said. “To sit there and just watch the people you’ve looked up to for three years go through that, it was kind of difficult.”

As a junior and a part-time starter at offensive tackle and a rotating substitute at defensive tackle, Posik’s presence probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference in the 20-0 verdict.

The Hornets can thank his absence, though, for what they’ve witnessed this year.

Posik’s possessed play as a two-way anchor in the trenches helped land Leavitt its third consecutive Pine Tree Conference. Only Wells (6:07 p.m. Saturday) stands between the Hornets and their second state title in that span.

“He plays with a lot of passion for the game,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. He’s amped up his leadership big time. A big part of that was him working out in the weight room in the off-season. He was kind of the leader of the linemen in there.”

Like most freshmen and sophomores funneling into Leavitt’s tradition-rich program, Posik waited his turn to become an impact player as a junior.

Instead, he became acquainted with the wrong kind of impact. Posik sustained a concussion in Leavitt’s exhibition against Jay and missed two games.

He healed enough to start two contests at left offensive tackle and alternate at defensive tackle with senior stars Max Cloutier, James Morin and Jesse Pelletier before the lower leg injury ended his season.

Posik let his body recuperate all winter before joining the outdoor track team.

“Not because I was any sort of track player, but because we were guaranteed two hours in the weight room every day,” Posik said. “And obviously running to get myself in shape.”

Weight that accumulated during months of inactivity melted off. Posik slimmed down to 250 pounds by the end of the track season.

Fourteen weeks of football later, he’s down to a solid 220. The enhanced quickness serves him well as the starting center in Leavitt’s spread option.

“One thing we do that I don’t see any other team do is pull the center,“ Posik said. “I like it. It gets me involved. It’s fun playing in this offense. I get to block down on backers who are half the size of me and I get to pull around on corners who are half the size of me. Or if I need to I can block a nose guard who’s right in front of me.”

Offensive linemen don’t get noticed on many football teams. Leavitt — perhaps because the Hornets usually win, or maybe due to their diverse offensive schemes — is an exception.

Recent Hornets Jonathan Pirruccello and Doug Nash played in Division I. Posik has prospered in the leadership role filled by Matt Pellerin and Cloutier the past two years.

“He’s the guy that’s kind of the rally guy in there. If I need those guys to get something done, I go see him and he takes care of it pretty much,” Hathaway said. “You need that rally guy who gets everybody going, and you can only be that guy if you can play.”

Posik can play, as evidenced by staggering Leavitt offensive and defensive numbers that haven’t missed a beat.

Despite welcoming back only one full-time starter, Devin McMahan, the Hornets’ offensive line has paved the way for one 1,000-yard rusher (Jake Ouellette) and another who is likely to eclipse that plateau in the state game (Jordan Hersom).

Hersom is equally dangerous through the air. Leavitt has scored 70 touchdowns in 11 games.

Seven sacks and three fumble recoveries highlight Posik’s handiwork on defense. No play loomed larger than his season-saving scoop of a Mt. Blue miscue on third-and-goal at the 2-yard line in overtime of the PTC championship.

Leavitt matched Mt. Blue’s touchdown in the second OT, and Posik’s line cleared a giant lane for Ouellette to walk into the end zone with a shovel pass on the two-point conversion.

“We knew what needed to be done to win that game,” Posik said. “I feel like that will help us on Saturday. I feel like being in that atmosphere before is what’s really going to make the difference.”

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