Leavitt’s Trevor Bosse follows the block of Landen Arsenault, right, and runs upfield against Wells on Sept. 17 in Wells. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald

Leavitt has overpowered its first three opponents of the season and shown little to no rust after its first two games were canceled due to opponents’ COVID-19 issues. 

However, Friday’s game against unbeaten Cape Elizabeth appear to be the biggest test the unbeaten Hornets have faced this season. 

The Capers (4-0) have averaged more than 51 points per game on offense and have given up only 27 points in their four victories this season. Last week, Cape Elizabeth took down York 35-14 thanks in part to quarterback Caden McDuffie’s four total touchdowns. 

“We’re loaded with skill players and loaded with linemen,” Cape Elizabeth coach Sean Green said. “We have a lot of good football players and Caden runs the show. He’s our quarterback and his greatest asset is his football IQ. Everyone knows he can run the ball, throw the ball, but he’s an extremely smart football player and he understands the game.”

Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway is well aware of McDuffie and Cape Elizabeth’s skill position players, and has focused this week’s practices on how stopping those players.

“We are focusing on tackling a lot,” Hathaway said. “You have to tackle those guys. They’re slippery and they’re tough. They’re not just fast, they’re also tough runners. Our practice plans have a lot of tackling — blocking and tackling. A lot of it will be technique but there will be some scheme, too. Just making sure we are good at what we do.”

Green, meanwhile, said that Cape Elizabeth also will have its hands full Friday night in Turner.

Noah Carpenter, a sophomore, stepped in the past two weeks at quarterback in place of the injured Hunter Hayes and helped the Hornets to two victories with a point differential of plus-72. Also, Degan Jordan has scored on defense and offense, and Leavitt’s offensive line, led by Jack Boutaugh, has been stout.

“Every week we try to look at personnel and try to find some weaknesses, but let’s just be honest, Leavitt doesn’t have any weaknesses anywhere on the football field,” Green said. “They have athletes everywhere, they have the best offensive and defensive lines we will face this year, and so focusing on one player wouldn’t make too much sense this week. At the end of the day, we just have to play sound defense and play smart and if we do that then we’ll be OK.”

Just as Carpenter has stepped up to help Leavitt, so has Cape Elizabeth’s backup quarterback, sophomore Mike Folley, though it hasn’t been under center.

“He was our second-string quarterback and he will be a great quarterback for us next year, but this year he decided to do what’s best for the team and we actually moved him to center,” Green said. “He’s been phenomenal. On the defensive side, he’s played really well at inside (linebacker) and he’s even played some defensive tackle and defensive end for us. He’s been a very pleasant surprise, a kid who wasn’t even on the preseason depth chart and has worked his way into being a starter for us.”

While Leavitt is 3-0, is scoring nearly 40 points per game and has allowed only six points total (on a fourth-quarter punt return last week), Hathaway said the Hornets are, in fact, recovering from those two missed games at the start of the season.

“We had a good road win at Wells (to start), the homecoming game is usually a big distraction, but we made it through that well (against Gardiner). We survived those and then went to Westbrook and had some guys step in, start for the first time and play well, so that was encouraging,” Hathaway said. “We are probably a little behind everyone else on game reps; we don’t feel like we’re at Week 6 yet, in that sense, but I feel like we are getting there.”


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