Following Friday night’s 47-12 loss at Brunswick, Mt. Blue coach Nate Quirion told his players to put the game behind them as soon as they stepped on the bus and focus on next Friday’s homecoming game against Westbrook.

“That’s really all we can do,” Quirion said. “I mean, obviously, we’ll dissect this film and see what we can do to get better, see what we can improve, and then we’ll go make that possible by getting back to work tomorrow.”

Poland wasn’t stepping on a bus after losing to Spruce Mountain, 56-27, at home on Friday, but the message was very similar from Knights coach Spencer Emerson.

“Spruce Mountain is a good football team,” Emerson said. “They’re very well coached and have some talented players on the outside and have some big guys out front and frankly we were outmatched tonight.

“I think I didn’t coach well enough to win the game, and I have to be honest with myself and my players and say, ‘Hey, we are going to grow from this’ and we are focused on next week.”

Quirion and Emerson are both leading rebuilding programs and trying to get their players to stick with their vision through the growing pains they’ll ultimately encounter.

Friday night was particularly painful for both teams, who went into their games with 2-2 records and were hoping to show they were ready to take the next step against some tough conference foes.

Amidst the disappointment of those losses, though, both teams could find something to build on when they return to practice on Monday.

In the first half against the Phoenix, Poland threw the pigskin around like a rich man with a fat wallet.

Knight quarterback Brady Downing connected with 12 passes in 14 attempts for 183 yards in the first half — and the second half was no different for him.

“Poland is a very good team. They pass very well. You give that kid time to throw and he throws very well,” Spruce Mountain coach David Frey said.

Poland will try to bounce back with a road game at Oak Hill on Saturday.

Mt. Blue had some success moving the ball on the ground with Caleb Haines gaining 108 yards on eight carries but frequently curbed their momentum with penalties. 

The combination of their own mistakes and Brunswick imposing its physical will with four touchdown on its first eight plays frustrated the Cougars. But it also gave them an idea of what they are trying to build for their future.

“We have tremendous respect for how they go about their work,” Quirion said. “We’re striving to be as physical a team, and we’re still working every day to close the gap between them and us.”

“We stayed together, which is difficult under these circumstances, particularly when you’ve worked the way we’ve worked and we’re not, week in and week out, getting the results that we perhaps deserve,” Quirion said. “But what we explained to our guys is typically in life it’s not what you deserves, it’s what you’re able to do. So we’re going to continue to work every day to get the results that we want.”


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