Each week, the Sun Journal sports staff will pick high school football topics to discuss — sometimes the discussions will turn into spirited debates.
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Sun Journal assistant sports editor Wil Kramlich

WIL KRAMLICH: Due to the various schedules in each class/division, it’s difficult to come up with a name for this week in football. I suppose it’s Week 9, but it’s the second week of the playoffs for some teams, the first week for others, and the final week of the regular season for Classes A and D.

The final week of the regular season often used to be Rivalry Week, and for age-old rivals Edward Little and Lewiston, it still is. The Red Eddies and Blue Devils will duel for a hard-to-come-by win this season. For both teams, it’s in all likelihood the final game of the season, with Class A only taking six of eight teams to the playoffs this year. Unless the wacky happens, it’s the last game for both teams, and both would like to end it on some kind of high note.

Rivalries between two area schools are hard to come by these days, but the Edward Little-Lewiston rivalry lives on. However, is it the area’s best rivalry?

Sun Journal sports reporter Adam Robinson

ADAM ROBINSON: I still believe it’s the area’s best rivalry. Edward Little football’s 30-year play-by-play voice Bim Gibson joined this week’s Sun Journal Sportscast, and we discussed the rivalry over the past 120 years and the ins and out of the pairing. Lewiston-versus-Edward Little, no matter the records, no matter the players, still inspires players to get up for the game and gets the community out to the fields. Which rivalry do you think is the best?

Jack Keefe, Edward Little’s quarterback, and Donovan Jackson, Lewiston’s new QB since taking over in the middle of the season, are sure to put up some numbers and some big, electric plays. Which has gotten me to thinking, which players have impressed you the most this season?

KRAMLICH: Since I got to the Sun Journal in 2015, Lisbon vs. Oak Hill never seems to disappoint, so I would have to side with Greyhounds-Raiders in the Route 9 Rumble or whatever those two schools call it. Whether it’s regular season or playoffs, something crazy seems to unfold when those two teams play, and there have been upsets. Our late co-worker and friend Randy Whitehouse chronicled that rivalry (as only he could) in recent years.

I’m also intrigued by the Dirigo-vs.-Mountain Valley rivalry. Those two schools have been clashing in other sports for years, but have only recently taken it to the gridiron since Mountain Valley moved down in class. Friday’s playoff clash will be among the first of its kind, so that should be fun.

As far as players go, Donovan Jackson’s performance against Mt. Blue was electric, Eli Soehren’s cannon of an arm for Oxford Hills is a spectacle, and Caden Thompson’s tough running for Oak Hill is something to behold. Also, the line play of Spruce Mountain, Oxford Hills and Leavitt was awesome to watch. How about you?

ROBINSON: I can’t wait for the Mountain Valley and Dirigo eight-man playoff showdown on Friday night. It’s going to be a packed crowd and a lot of fun.

I haven’t gotten to watch Jackson live, but I have heard he has been a sparkplug. I can attest to Thompson on the ground at Oak Hill, and I’d thrown in Jackson Arbour, Oak Hill’s quarterback, as a fun player to watch cook.

Eli Soehren has been the best player I have seen this season, from within the Sun Journal’s coverage area and beyond. His combination of size, speed and throwing ability has been something to behold. Noah Carpenter’s performance for Leavitt at QB against Cape Elizabeth was maybe the best performance I’ve seen, and Jack Boutaugh dominated on both sides of the Hornets’ line that night, as he has all season.

Which playoff game are you most excited to see? I can’t wait to see how Telstar does in its rematch with Maranacook.

KRAMLICH: I’m really interested to see how Telstar does against Maranacook the second time around, now that the Black Bears have actually had time to practice and figure themselves out. I also am intrigued to see how Spruce Mountain does in its rematch with Mt. Ararat, especially since quarterback Cam Phillips will be playing after missing the season-opening loss.


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