Spruce Mountain’s big plays have been a little better than Wells’ long drives.

At the risk of oversimplifying the details, that has been the story in the two most recent renewals of the budding rivalry between the Phoenix and Warriors.

There’s no reason to expect either team to shy away from using their meal ticket when No. 3 Wells (7-2) travels to No. 2 Spruce Mountain (8-1) for Friday’s Class C West semifinals.

Kickoff at Griffin Field in Livermore Falls is scheduled for 7 p.m.

One year ago, at Wells, Spruce Mountain jumped out to a 22-0 lead and held on for a 29-20 victory to reach its first regional final.

“It’s going to be the same way it was last year,” Spruce Mountain coach Walter Polky said, speaking of Wells’ relentless nature.


The Phoenix saw much of the same in this season’s regular-season meeting on Sept. 12.

Spruce Mountain dialed long distance four times in a 27-6 victory. But Wells imposed its will for much of the evening, rushing for more than 300 yards, only to see a goal-line stand, turnovers and penalties short-circuit their progress in the red zone.

“It’s not like it was the end of the world,” Wells coach Tim Roche said. “We have the playoffs, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Matt Vigue ran for two touchdowns and Peter Theriault connected with Deonte Ring for two more in the 2013 semifinal victory.

For their encore in Week 2, Vigue ran for touchdowns of 43, 53 and 65 yards, and Theriault completed two huge throws. One found Andrew Darling for a 22-yard touchdown. The other reached Ring for a lunging catch on third-and-long to get the Phoenix away from their own goal line.

Wells turned to halfback Chris Carney (30 carries, 192 yards) and fullback Mike Curtis (24 for 133). The explosive Carney looks to extend single-season school records of more than 1,700 yards and 28 touchdowns.


His Warriors tuned up for the postseason three weeks ago with a 26-19 home loss to reigning state champion Leavitt.

“We didn’t play as well against Spruce,” Roche said. “We had a chance to win against Leavitt. Yeah, it was 7-6 at the half at Spruce, but it got out of hand pretty quick.”

Carney and Curtis aren’t the only threats for Wells. Nate Booth is a veteran at quarterback. Ryan Marsh is a proven target.

Spruce Mountain has been more balanced, with Vigue topping the 1,000-yard mark in a 35-0 quarterfinal victory over Mountain Valley.

The Phoenix have split the carries between Vigue, Theriault, Dillon Webster and Andrew and Austin Darling out of the option. Theriault and Ring are a dangerous tandem both vertically and working the sidelines.

Wells won 55-28 over Poland in the quarterfinals. The Warriors are seeking their second state championship in four seasons. Spruce Mountain eyes back-to-back berths in the Western Maine title game.

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