Waterville football fans check out the action during a Sept. 11 game against Mount View in Thorndike. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The Mt. Ararat/Hyde and Morse football teams are fresh off bye weeks and ready to face familiar foes in the regional semifinals of the eight man large playoffs.

No. 2 Morse (5-2) plays No. 3 Camden Hills (4-3) on Friday night at 7 in a North division semifinal. The teams split the regular season meetings, with Camden winning 60-42 on Sept. 11 and Morse winning 44-30 on Oct. 8.

The No. 2 Eagles (6-1), meanwhile, will host No. 3 Spruce Mountain (6-2) in a South division semifinal Friday night at 6. The two teams last met in Week 1, which Mt. Ararat won 42-12.

Morse coach Jason Darling said there certainly won’t be many surprises Friday night.

“It’s certainly a rarity to play a team three times,” said Morse head coach Jason Darling. “I don’t think anyone is going to be surprised by what either team does. It’s going to come down to who limits mistakes and the team that capitalizes on opportunities the most. … I think everyone knows that if you don’t play your best you won’t be playing again until next season.”

Added Camden Hills coach Chris Christie: “We welcome the opportunity to battle them again. We have great respect for their entire program from top to bottom. It should be a great game for the fans of football.”

Dirigo cornerback Dylen Packard, left, tackles Maranacook’s Mark Thibodeau during a football game earlier this season at the Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Mt Ararat coach Frank True said he watched Spruce pound No. 6 Yarmouth in a quarterfinal game last weekend, and knows his Eagles will face a tough test Friday.

“What I saw in the first week was a team transitioning from 11-man football to eight-man,” said True. “They changed up their schemes and moved around guys on both sides of the ball with the depth they have. To summarize, they are big, fast and strong. They’re going to present us with a lot of challenges.”

Other eight-man teams are gearing up for regional semifinal matchups as well.

Waterville is prepping for a familiar foe in Mount Desert Island when they meet Friday at 2 p.m. The Purple Panthers pulled out a 30-28 overtime victory earlier this month.

“Mount Desert Island is a very good football team, their record (2-4) is deceiving,” said Waterville head coach Isaac LeBlanc. “Our regular season contest with MDI came down to just a couple of plays in overtime. They will be a tremendous test yet again for us.”

Waterville standout quarterback Liam Von Oesen missed the Oct. 9 contest due to injury, but he will play Friday. Nevertheless, LeBlanc knows the basics must be covered to win a postseason football game.

Maranacook’s CJ Robertson, left, trips up Mt. Ararat’s Kaiden Getchell on a long running play during a football game earlier this season in Readfield. Robertson was last defender between Getchell and the end zone. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“Our fundamentals and focus must be on point,” he said. “It’s really important to focus on playing a fundamentally sound game, playing together, and staying composed for four quarters.”

In the eight-man small South division, No. 5 Maranacook (3-3) is hoping to keep the momentum going it picked up in a quarterfinal victory over No. 4 Old Orchard Beach. The Black Bears will play at No. 1 Telstar (7-0) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Bethel.

“I challenged the guys to buckle down and grind after our regular-season finale loss to Mt. Ararat,” said Maranacook head coach Jordan DeMillo. “I’ve been a big believer in this team all year and that’s one of the reasons why.”

DeMillo said his team executed in all three phases of the game to come away with the victory. Now, with a rematch with Telstar coming up Saturday, DeMillo knows his team will have to play as well as it did in Old Orchard Beach to be successful.

“We’re going to have to play really good football, they’re big, athletic, and fast where it matters,” he said. “They went undefeated for a reason. It’s going to take the same style of execution we just had (against Old Orchard Beach) and then some.”

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