Friday, December 13, 2013
At 2-0, the Skowhegan Area High School football team is off to a strong start. Known as a passing team because of its spread offense, Skowhegan won Friday night's game against Messalonskee, a game played in steady rain, with its running game and defense.
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
Jonathan Santiago of MCI ran for 203 yards and five touchdowns in a 46-0 win over Stearns.
Skowhegan’s Kaleb Brown ran for 196 yards and a touchdown in a 14-6 win over Messalonskee.
Dylan Hapworth of Winslow ran for three touchdowns, a 2-point conversion and kicked five extra points, accounting for 25 points in a 55-14 win at Camden Hills.
Ricky Crayton of Winslow returned an interception for a touchdown in a 55-14 win at Camden Hills.
Nate Backus returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and also caught a 55-yard touchdown pass in a 39-0 win over Lawrence.
Waterville’s Brian Bellows threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jordhan Levine in a 54-8 win at Nokomis. Bellows also ran for a score.
"We're playing some really good defense," Skowhegan head coach Matt Friedman said. "It's been everything we were hoping for."
The Indians held Messalonskee to 58 yards of offense in the second half of Friday's 14-6 win. Skowhegan's effort included a stand inside its own 10-yard line with under six minutes to play.
A pair of sophomores have been pleasant surprises on both sides of the line, Friedman said. David Washburn is playing well at defensive tackle, while Tanner Towle is at left tackle on the offensive line.
"They're doing a nice job. They've really solidified those spots," Friedman said.
Skowhegan plays at Hampden on Friday. The Broncos rebounded from a big loss at Mt. Blue in Week 1 with a dominating 72-7 win over Gorham last week.
"They're similar to us, in that they're a spread team. I wouldn't say they're a mirror image, but they incorporate some of the things we do," Friedman said of the Broncos.
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When the Maine Principals' Association expanded high school football from three classes to four this season, one of the positives mentioned was the possible decrease in lopsided games.
Through two weeks of the season, that hasn't happened. There have been 76 high school football games played so far this season, and 47 of them, 61.8 percent, ended with a margin of victory of 20 points or more.
Twenty-two of the 38 games played in Week 1 ended in a blowout win. In Week 2, 25 of 38 games was decided by 20 points or more.
No class was immune to the blowouts. They happened in all four, but it was the worst in Class B. Only five of 20 Class B games were close. Seventy-five percent were decided by 20 or more points.
So, what does this mean? Nothing new, that's for sure. As long as games are played, there will be blowouts. It's too soon to determine if four divisions of football will lead to more competitive balance, but no matter how it gets broken down, when you have strong teams and weak teams, you're going to have lopsided games. Let's just hope that by the end of the season, the number of blowouts decreases.
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Here are some final thoughts from Mt. Blue's 39-0 win over Lawrence on Saturday night.
* The loss snapped Lawrence's 28-game, regular-season win streak. The Bulldogs had not lost a regular-season game since Week 7 of the 2009 season, at Bangor. When your losses come with the frequency of presidential elections, you're program is in good shape.
* A key difference in this game came on first down. Mt. Blue had 11 plays of four or more yards on first down, including a 55-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Pratt to Nate Backus early in the fourth quarter that pushed the Cougars lead to 24-0.
Lawrence, on the other hand, had just seven plays of 4 or more yards on first down. Lawrence also had five penalties on first down, pushing themselves into even longer yardage situations.
* Speaking of penalties, Lawrence committed too many of them. The Bulldogs were flagged 11 times for 72 yards. Penalties blew up a potential good drive in the first quarter for Lawrence. Facing third down and 9 from the Mt. Blue 42, the Bulldogs were called for a hold, then back-to-back false start. Now it was third down and 26, and the drive was lost.
* If Mt. Blue continues to be this explosive, the Cougars will be very tough. Four of the Cougars touchdowns were on plays of at least 55 yards.
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Around the state: Twenty-three teams have scored at least 40 points in a game already this season... Falmouth is the only team in the state that has yet to give up a point. Falmouth has shutouts over Gorham (48-0) and Morse (7-0). Brunswick has surrendered just two points, a safety in Week 1's 47-2 win at Brewer... A pair of contenders in Western Class B meet on Friday, when Westbrook plays at Marshwood. Both teams are 2-0.
Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242