Horton: Well, that was a fun regular season. I saw eight of the 13 high school football teams in our coverage area. Out of those 13 teams, Mt. Blue and Gray-New Gloucester are the only ones that aren’t advancing to the postseason. So let’s look at those two teams.

Gray-NG had a tough season. The Patriots had a lot of graduated players that needed to be replaced, but were thin on experience, with only a couple of seniors on this season’s team. One senior they were counting on, lineman and captain Brandon LaFlamme, was sidelined the entire year by a preseason ACL injury. Rough luck. On the bright side, a lot of inexperienced players gained a lot of experience this season. On the even brighter side, Boomer Simmons, the heart of the team, is only a junior, as is fellow running back Andrew Peterson. But bouncing back from 0-8 will be a task.

Mt. Blue is one of the five teams that I didn’t get the experience to see. It’s a shame that its season is over, especially after an excellent win over Skowhegan in the season finale. Wrap up the Cougars’ season, and give me an early preview of the 2017 squad.

Also, is there anything else to know about Gray-NG’s season or future?

Kramlich: I only saw Mt. Blue in the preseason, but like Gray-NG, the Cougars were short on varsity starting experience, especially on offense.

Mt. Blue coach Jim Aylward said he hoped his team would be playing its best football at the end of the season. I guess a win over a very good Skowhegan team means they made Aylward’s prophecy come true.

With Aylward, the Cougars should always be a factor. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them bounce back from this year’s 3-5 season.

The Patriots are a different story. Until last year, 0-8 was pretty much the norm in their short history. They really wanted to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke, but the cards were stacked against them. They need to turn that experience they gained this year into production next year.

They can look at nearby Class C South foe Freeport as a team short on history and success that made a jump.

Shall we talk about some teams that will try to make some history this postseason?

Horton: Sure. That Edward Little at Oxford Hills/Buckfield rematch has me salivating. It was an incredible game the first time. I’m sure it will once again be a clash of styles: EL will throw a lot, and Oxford Hills will run a lot. Defense will be the key. In the Red Eddies’ 32-28 win last month, both defenses struggled at times. The Vikings struggled early and at the end, and the Eddies struggled in between.

The other exciting matchup for me is Mountain Valley at Fryeburg. The Falcons might run the ball even more than Oxford Hills/Buckfield. In Fryeburg’s blowout win over Poland, the Raiders gave up a lot of rushing yards. If that wasn’t just a fluke, Mountain Valley should be able to move the ball. However, Fryeburg has some offensive playmakers, which should test the Falcons’ defense. I predict a high-scoring game.

Kramlich: I’m intrigued by the Spruce Mountain-Freeport playoff game in Class C South. Based on the past, the Phoenix should roll at Griffin Field. They’re always a playoff contender, and that place gets lively come the postseason. But Freeport has been turning some heads, namely after beating rival Yarmouth for the first time last week. The Falcons can be easily overlooked, especially when you take into consideration their lack of a playoff history, but selling them short could be a mistake.

The same might be said for Lewiston against Cheverus. The Blue Devils played the Stags close earlier this season, albeit at home rather than in Portland. Lewiston has improved throughout the season, and head coach Bruce Nicholas lamented about falling a few plays short during the regular-season matchup. A tall task, for sure, but it has the potential to be interesting.

I also wonder how Leavitt will fare at No. 1 and 8-0 Kennebunk in Class B South. The Hornets are young, and didn’t play the Rams during the regular season, but their recent history has been written in the postseason. Not sure what that means for 2016, but something to keep an eye on.

Well, it sounds like we’ll have plenty to talk about next week.


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