Leavitt’s offense put up 128 points through the first two games of the 2017 season, but it was the defense that made the difference in the Hornets’ 19-7 win over Gardiner on Sept. 16. Leavitt’s defense buckled down when the Tigers started drives on the Hornets’ side of the field, and Caleb Bowen intercepted a pair of passes. Bowen also set up two scores with long runs and finished with 130 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Earlier that day, Edward Little overcame an early 14-0 deficit to earn a last-minute road win over Cheverus. The Eddies trailed 20-7 at the end of the first quarter and tied the score at 20-20 before halftime. It remained that way until the end of the fourth quarter. Maxx Bell made a fingertip catch near the sideline for a 46-yard gain, and after a Caden Begos run to the 1, quarterback Grant Hartley ran the ball in from the 1 for the go-ahead score with 27 seconds left to give Edward Little a 26-20 victory.

Mountain Valley pulled off what was considered a big upset when it defeated Gorham 24-14 on Sept. 17, 2004. The Rams were the defending Western Class B champions and had defeated the Falcons twice the previous season. First-half touchdowns by Aaron Arsenault, Chris Lever and Pat Knapp (on a 24-yard pass from Zach Fergola) sent the Falcons into halftime with an 18-6 lead. Mountain Valley, which ended the 2004 season by winning the first of four state titles in a seven-year stretch, finished off the win with a 1-yard TD run by Arsenault.

That same day, Lisbon quarterback Chris Kates threw three TDs in a 35-12 win over Madison, and Oxford Hills’ Mason Olmstead ran for 257 yards but Edward Little stayed close before the Vikings prevailed 13-12.

Edward Little coach Gene Keene entered the 2000 season wanting an exciting offense that threw the ball around. In the first three games of that season, the main thing preventing that style of play was the running of Tom Hunter and the blocking of the Red Eddies offensive line. Hunter carried the ball 19 times for 347 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-12 win over Marshwood on Sept. 15. Through three games, Hunter had 882 yards and 13 rushing TDs.

Junior quarterback Foster Oakley, making his first start, threw three touchdown passes to Cole Parlin as Mt. Blue routed Gardiner 52-7. Oak Hill and Leavitt used more deliberate offensive strategies to earn victories. Oak Hill, led by Jon Bilodeau, ran right at the Livermore Falls defense to win 18-8. Bilodeau ran for 112 yards. Leavitt’s Jon Bussiere scored TDs three of the first eight times he carried the ball, finishing with 149 yards in the Hornets’ 28-18 win over Wells.

Lewiston dominated the game everywhere but the scoreboard in its Sept. 18, 1982, matchup against Westbrook. The Blue Devils racked up 319 total yards and held the Blazes to 27 yards on the ground and 86 through the air. However, Westbrook stopped Lewiston six times after it drove into Blazes territory. Two touchdowns by the Blue Devils in the second quarter were enough for a 12-6 victory. Marcel Boucher gained 111 yards on 17 carries and Scott Pellerin had 77 yards on 17 carries.

Also that day, Oak Hill, on its way to the Class D state title later that fall, beat MCI 54-21. Gordon Strout’s four TDs, and 169 yards on 10 carries, led the way. And Wayne Clark kicked an 18-yard field goal in overtime to lift Dirigo past Winthrop 9-6. A day earlier, Mt. Blue broke a 7-7 tie with Cony with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to win 21-7. Shane Jones ran in from 1 yard out to give the Cougars the lead, and Jerry Williams scored on a 39-yard run to put Mt. Blue up by two scores.

Editor’s note: The years were selected using an online random number generator.

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