Skowhegan’s Quintcey McCray (3) rushes for a first down as Gardiner’s Cody Dingwell (21) makes the tackle in the first half of a Sept. 30 game in Skowhegan. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

There are only be two weeks left of the high school football regular season after Friday night, and things are heating up in Class B North.

One storyline that’s taking shape for the conference: For the first time since 2016, a B North team could be a favorite to win the state title.

No spot is truly safe in regards to B North playoff positioning, although Skowhegan — which entered the weekend at 5-0 — seems well on its way to locking down the top seed. The River Hawks, led by a veteran-heavy roster, have rolled through the competition thus far. What’s been particularly noticeable is the play of the defense, which has allowed just 34 points (less than 7 points per game) in its first five games.

The landscape is on far shakier ground in B South. Marshwood — a perennial state contender in Class B for nearly a decade, with six Gold Balls — entered the weekend with a 2-3 record. The top team in the conference was Portland, which was 2-3. By early next week, the No. 1 team could very well be Massabesic, a former Class A powerhouse years ago that has found new life under head coach Lucas Labbe. The Mustangs beat rival Sanford 28-14 on Thursday night to improve to 4-2.

Back in B North, the River Hawks finish the regular season with two of their toughest games, playing Class A juggernaut Thornton Academy at home on Oct. 14, before hitting the road Oct. 21 against Windham.

And how about those Eagles? They may pose the biggest threat, at the moment, to jump Skowhegan for the No. 1 seed. The defending B North champions, Windham had large turnover on its roster entering the season, but entered Week 6 with the second-best record in the conference (4-1). But like Skowhegan, the toughest opponents for the Eagles were saved for the final weeks, playing Oxford Hills, Thornton Academy and Skowhegan in its final three games. Those three opponents are three of the top programs in the state right now. The Eagles could end the regular season at 4-4 just as quickly as they started 4-1.


Cony entered the weekend No. 2 in the standings. Though the Rams dropped the regular season opener to Oxford Hills, the Rams would go on to win three of the next four games, including a victory over Massabesic and a signature win over Windham in Week 4. Led by the play of quarterback Dom Napolitano, who has shown the ability to make plays with his arm and his legs, and the hard-charging play of running back Caden Schleis-Hooyman, the Rams find themselves in a strong position to make a charge for the No. 1 seed, with games against rival Gardiner and Falmouth in the final two weeks.

Falmouth, which entered the weekend as the No. 3 seed, started the season with a solid 26-20 win over Class C Cheverus. But the Navigators still seek a major victory against a conference foe to secure a top seed. They’ll get that chance on the road Oct. 21 against Cony.

Gardiner has had a turnaround season, including a three-game winning streak, showing a bend but don’t break defense. The Tigers have also shown an entertaining offensive approach, mixing a quick-pass air attack from quarterback Wyatt Chadwick with the ground game, led by running back Colton Dube. The Tigers have tough matchups with Cony and up and coming Mt. Blue to wrap up the regular season.

Lawrence, a preseason favorite, has had its share of struggles during the regular season, but still carry Fitzpatrick Trophy candidate Parker Higgins at running back. The Bulldogs could prove to be a dangerous mid-to-lower seed come playoffs.

Mt. Blue has turned its fortunes around under new head coach Matt Friedman. The Cougars boast a pass-happy offensive attack with multi-purpose quarterback Jayden Meader.

Leavitt’s Maddox Demers, left, brings Lawrence’s Parker Higgins to the ground during a Sept. 30 in Turner. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Battling for the final seed, as of now, is Messalonskee and Brewer. The Eagles are in transition mode, as head coach Walter Polky recently left the team for unspecified reasons. Athletic director Chad Foye is currently leading the program. Messalonskee still carries an athletic lineup that includes running backs Bryce Crowell and Garrett Card.

What else is great about this situation in the standings? The potential playoff matchups are endless. Does Cony get a chance at rival Lawrence in the playoffs, a showdown we didn’t get in the regular season? Do we get two games between ancient rivals Cony and Gardiner that extend into the playoffs? Do Windham and Lawrence make a march as potential mid or lower seeds? Can Mt. Blue play spoiler? Do we get a Skowhegan-Cony regional final?

Could B North have its first state champion since Brunswick beat Kennebunk 28-6 in 2016?

We sit in the eye of a major storm of excellent football coming our way over the course of the next month and a half in the B North ranks. If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what does.

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