Leavitt’s Caleb Bowen leaps over Gardiner’s Collin Foye during Saturday night’s football game in Turner.

The Leavitt Hornets went into the start of last week aware they would be without several key contributors for Friday night’s game against the top team in Class C North, Mount Desert Island.

“We knew we were going to be up against it with a lot of moving parts,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said.

MDI won, 36-22, but the losses kept piling up for the Hornets. Already without QB Tim Albert, tight end/defensive end Cole Morin, nose tackle Cole Melanson and running back Dasean Calder, they also lost two-way tackle Aidan Parmenter after the game’s first series and tight end/linebacker Allen Peabody in the second quarter. 

“Not having three of our (defensive) front five (Morin, Melanson and Parmenter) was tough to overcome,” Hathaway said.

Not for MDI, which roared out to a 36-0 halftime lead.

“MDI is really good,” Hathaway said of the defending C North champions, who improved to 6-1. “They’re physical and quick, and they’re experienced up front.”

Leavitt gave most of its remaining starters the second half off in hopes of keeping as many healthy as possible for this Friday’s regular-season finale against Morse.

Albert’s replacement, freshman Wyatt Hathaway, started and remained behind center after both teams sent in the JVs early in the second half to gain some experience. He connected with sophomores Hayden Varney, Damion Calder and Keegan Melanson for touchdowns in the second half to cut the deficit to 36-22, which forced MDI to put its starting secondary back in the game to keep the Hornets from getting any closer.

The availability of most of the walking wounded for Morse won’t be clear until Monday, Hathaway said. Albert, who suffered a foot injury late in the previous game against Cape Elizabeth and was ruled out of the MDI game before last Monday’s practice, will be among those re-evaluated.

Morin, who injured his shoulder the week before against Yarmouth, is questionable to return this season, Hathaway said. 

Both Leavitt and Morse will be 6-1 going into the game, but the Shipbuilders could use the Heal points from a victory to move up in the C South Heal points standings, in which they currently rank fourth. The Hornets have the No. 1 seed clinched, regardless, as Fryeburg Academy won’t get any Heal points if it beats its final foe, winless Gray-New Gloucester. 

EL’s Hartley throwing bombs, flipping tables

There aren’t many, if any, quarterbacks in the state with an arm as strong as Edward Little’s Grant Hartley. He’s also a dangerous runner, gaining a team-high 79 yards on eight carries in the Red Eddies’ 21-13 win over Windham on Friday.

Hartley’s foot is also a weapon.

“His punting is amazing,” Edward Little coach Dave Sterling said after Friday’s win. “He’s a very gifted athlete, and to be able to punt the way he does — we can flip the table on an opponent and put them in deep, as well as, if we’re back in deep we can put the ball past midfield. It’s remarkable the athletic skills that he has.”

Hartley’s fourth-quarter punt Friday pinned the Eagles at their own 3-yard line. He also had a field-position-flipping 43-yard punt and put another one at the Windham 17.

In the previous week’s win over Deering, he set the field-position tone by ending the first drive of the game with a 58-yard punt that put the Rams at their own 4. Another first-half punt put Deering at it’s own 7.

Raiders, Greyhounds end streaks heading into showdown

Oak Hill snapped a four-game losing streak Saturday with its 28-26 win over Winthrop/Monmouth on Saturday. The night before, Lisbon saw its six-game winning streak to start the season dissolve with a 36-6 loss at Wells. 

The rivals meet next Saturday at Thompson Field in a game that could decide whether Oak Hill will be playing beyond that and how the Greyhounds feel about themselves when they do.

Although the losing streak has the Raiders (3-4) fighting for a playoff spot in the final two weeks of the season, they did take something out of the last two losses, to Wells (41-21) and Madison (28-13).  

The Raiders were tied with the unbeaten Warriors at halftime, 14-14, and did well defensively to hold the high-powered Bulldogs to 28 points. Those accomplishments signaled to the team that they were getting better, even if the scoreboard wasn’t reflecting it yet.

“It was a confidence-builder in practice, which does translate to better games,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said.

“We always felt like we could compete with them,” senior running back Cruz Poirier said. “This is a fairly young team, so things go bad and we just blink and things just keep going worse. If we can keep it up and keep the ball rolling, we think, we have a chance against those teams.”

A win over the 6-1 Greyhounds would assure a playoff berth. With a loss, Oak Hill could still get in depending on what happens Friday night to the two teams currently behind them in the eighth and final spot, Dirigo and Poland.

The Greyhounds are ranked third in the Heals. The best case scenario is they could overtake Madison for second with a win and Madison loss against Spruce Mountain on Friday night. But they may still require some Heal help from others. Their 22-20 win over Mountain Valley earlier this year should be enough to hold the Falcons off for the No. 3 spot in the event that the Falcons upset Wells on Friday night.

Asked what his team needed to do to recover from its first loss, Lisbon coach Chris Kates wasn’t interested in holding onto any moral victories.

“Short memory,” Kates said. “Oak Hill is a big rivalry game for us, so you have to have a short memory on weeks like this. That’s football. You have to take your lumps and recover for the next week.”

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