Randy: Lee, I really could have used a week off last week to relax and get ready for the football semifinals. I could have watched the World Series, a little college football, and ignored the weather reports warning me I wasn’t going to have electricity for three days.

It’s probably just as well that I didn’t, though, because I wouldn’t have been very productive. I’m sure Edward Little and Lewiston made a lot better use of their off week with well-earned quarterfinal byes after pulling off the top two seeds, which no one saw coming.

It’s never a bad thing to get a little rest before starting the toughest portion of your schedule, but I think EL and Lewiston saw the bye week a little bit differently.

I’m sure the Red Eddies welcomed it because it gave them a chance to push the reset button before their second season begins with Friday night’s game against Windham. The pressure of going undefeated had been building up to the last week of the season, and now that that’s gone, they can refocus on the task at hand. They also got to sit and stew in the loss to their rivals in Week 8, which will no doubt have them playing with a little angrier this week. The extra week also gives them the time to self-scout and correct whatever mistakes keep popping up. There may be a little rust to start their semifinal game, but I think the Eddies will shake that off quickly and play their best football of the season on Friday night.

The Blue Devils, on the other hand, played their best game of the regular season in the Battle of the Bridge, and maybe, at least to some degree, would have liked to keep that momentum going with a quarterfinal game. I’m not saying they would trade places with anyone else, because they no doubt have taken advantage of the break to get better, too. But the win over EL was as much a psychological and emotional boost for them as anything after the ups and downs they’ve had this season. Whether the week off makes them come out a little flat against Portland tonight remains to be seen.

The most important thing for both teams is they’ve got home-field advantage this week, which was a goal for both heading into the season. And they have both played their best football at home.


Lee: Byes are sought after all season, but sometimes it’s a reward that some teams would like to regift because on man’s rest is another man’s rust.

I’m sure both teams physically enjoyed the bye because it gave bumps and bruises a chance to heal. But I agree with you. Psychologically, though, the Blue Devils might have appreciated the chance to ride the momentum they had caught. In the win over Edward Little — by the way, remember two weeks ago when you said that the rivarly didn’t have a recent example of an upset? Well, now it does — things seemed to come together for Lewiston better than it had since at least the beginning of the season when it blew out South Portland and shut out Oxford Hills.

Edward Little, meanwhile, was knocked down a notch, and that’s not always a bad thing.

The health element is not to be taken lightly, though. You know who probably would have loved a week off? Oxford Hills. It would have allowed another week for Dawson Stevens to heal from the injuries that hampered him at the end of the season. After he went down early in the quarterfinal loss to Portland, the Vikings’ offense wasn’t the same. Not only was he their most dangerous weapon this season, but without him their power-run game struggled to get past the line of scrimmage.

Also, as you know, one must not underestimate the importance of health at this point in the season. So, teams are correct to work for a bye week. Those who earn them just have to make sure that a bye week doesn’t work against them.

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