Edward Little High School running back Caden Begos, right, tries to slip through the arms of Oxford Hills’ Austin Doughty, left, after taking the handoff from quarterback Grant Hartley, rear, during their game at Walton Field in Auburn on Sept. 22.

For good or bad, the first year of Heal points standings determining all playoff seeding in football is creating some interesting possibilities, and all the more reason to pay close attention the final two weeks of the regular season.

In Class A North, 6-0 Edward Little would have home-field advantage clinched throughout the playoffs if this were 2016. But 3-3 Windham and Lewiston remain close enough in the Heals — and just so happen to be the Red Eddies’ final two opponents — to raise the stakes for the current top seed.

Even if they don’t overtake EL, Windham and Lewiston will be content with the No. 2 seed, a bye and a home semifinal. Besides EL, both have low or no-Heal-value opponents remaining — Lewiston at Portland this week and Windham hosting Bangor for the finale.

When they meet in Paris on Oct. 14, Oxford Hills and Cheverus should be locked in a battle for the No. 4 seed and home-field advantage when they likely square off again. Both have crossover games that could change that first — the Vikings at Scarborough and the Stags vs. Sanford.

In B North, this week’s Mt. Blue at Brunswick game is essentially a play-in game for the winner. Both have tough Week 8 opponents — the Cougars against Skowhegan and the Dragons against Brewer — so holding the No. 6 seed after Week 7 could be enough.

In C South, unbeaten Leavitt isn’t locked into the top spot yet. The Hornets have a long bus trip to a big game Friday night against Mount Desert Island, but the ride home could be a lot shorter if they win and clinch home-field advantage. MDI, currently ranked No. 1 in C North, could distance itself from No. 2 Winslow with a victory. 

Class D South is real and it’s spectacular. Unbeaten Wells keeps rolling, but the Warriors are going to have a couple of bruising weeks to get ready for the playoffs.

Lisbon is up first and it hasn’t lost either. The Greyhounds are banged up but eager to show what they can do against the consensus favorite, and still have an eye on overtaking Wells and/or Madison for a top-two spot. 

Mountain Valley reunites with Wells in the final week. The Falcons are getting better every week, which is a good thing because Madison is this week’s foe. The Falcons could make a significant leap in the Heals if they are indeed peaking at the right time. But a win over either the Bulldogs or Warriors would virtually guarantee home field in the first round of the eight-team playoffs.

Spruce Mountain is floating virtually alone in the middle of the standings in the No. 5 spot. Remaining games against Old Orchard Beach and Madison offer sufficient upward mobility to earn a home playoff game. 

Winthrop/Monmouth would like to move up to challenge the Phoenix, but Oak Hill and Mt. View, the Ramblers’ remaining opponents, don’t offer a lot in the way of Heals help. Still, the Ramblers would love to take a four-game winning streak into the postseason. Oak Hill, which is fighting for its playoff life, will try to nip that idea in the bud Saturday.

Dirigo is no doubt focused on just starting a win streak after snapping a four-game losing streak with its victory over Orono. The Cougars could apply some pressure on Winthrop/Monmouth for the No. 6 spot if they beat Poland and, more importantly, Old Orchard Beach. The Seagulls may need a win of their own by then to hold off Oak Hill for the final spot.

The Raiders hope strong showings against Wells and Madison the last two weeks translate to wins in their final two weeks against Winthrop/Monmouth and Lisbon. They may need both to make the playoffs.

Falcons finding flight

Mountain Valley has come a long way since being shut out by Dirigo, 13-0, in Week 1.

The Falcons are 4-2 and clicking on both sides of the ball as they get ready to take on Madison and Wells.

“We’re hitting the buzz saw of our schedule, but I think we’re peaking at the right time,” coach Patrick Mooney said. “There are still a lot of things to clean up, but I think if you look at where we were Week 1 up until now, there’s definitely a drastic change in the way we operate.”

The Falcons certainly look a lot smoother on offense. Mooney went into the season concerned about how quickly a young backfield led by sophomores Dylan Desroches and Jacob Blanchard would get up to speed with their delicate “spinner” offense.

The backs are now in sync with the veteran and physical offensive line, as they showed in Saturday’s 22-6 win over Old Orchard Beach, piling up 354 yards on the ground.

The Falcons used a not-so-secret weapon in the backfield in several short-yardage situations on Saturday. Senior tackle Curtis Gauvin pounded in a pair of two-point conversions and also extended a big drive with a 12-yard run on 4th-and-6.

“He was a fullback right up until last year,” Mooney said. “We moved him to tight end. And now we’ve moved him to tackle. He’s 260 pounds. We have to have him block up front. But it’s a great option to have — a kid who knows how to run the football and likes contact.”

Mountain Valley’s defense hasn’t allowed the opposing offense to make contact with the end zone in 10 quarters. Gauvin and senior linebacker Hunter Ames lead a unit that will face its toughest assignments in the next two weeks — containing a speedy, high-flying Madison passing attack and a physical, grinding Wells running game.

“(The scoreless streak) is something they should be proud of and should motivate them to continue to keep playing the way they are,” Mooney said.

Bright lights, big Eddies

After savoring Friday night’s win over Deering for several minutes, coach Dave Sterling and the Edward Little Red Eddies had to quickly wade through grandparents and congratulatory fellow students to reach the bus that would take them back to Edward Little High School.

Sterling and players Grant Hartley, Max Bell, Caden Begos, Terrell Thomas and Justin Theriault hopped in cars and traveled to Portland to appear in studio with WGME-13 sports director Dave Eid on the set of the channel’s “Friday Night Lights” show.

Sterling and the still jersey-clad players discussed their win over the Rams and their 6-0 start.

Assistant Sports Editor Lee Horton contributed to this report

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