Week 3 of the high school football season includes some intriguing Class C clashes, one featuring two of the preseason favorites in Eastern and Western Maine and another the rematch of the 2004 Eastern Maine final.
Lisbon (2-0) vs. Mattanawcook Acad. (2-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Lincoln: The two highest-scoring teams in Class C square off in a battle of teams expected to contend for their respective regional titles.
Mattanawcook has averaged 43.5 points in LTC wins over Orono and Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield.
Dylan Hanscom has completed 65 percent of his passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns for the Lynx, while Duncan Markie leads the LTC with 403 rushing yards.
Lisbon has defeated Livermore Falls and Dirigo of Dixfield by a combined 82-0. The Greyhounds are led by running back-safety Levi Ervin (347 yards, six TDs) and two-way tackle Elijah Treffts.
“It’s a pride game,” said MA coach Art Greenlaw. “We’re off to a 2-0 start, and the kids know [Lisbon’s] off to a 2-0 start, and someone’s not going to be 3-0 after Friday night. But our goal is to be where we want to be at the end of the season, so we have to keep it in perspective.”
Bucksport (1-1) vs. Foxcroft Acad. (1-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Dover-Foxcroft: Bucksport stopped a two-point conversion try by Foxcroft in the final minute to preserve a 26-25 win in last year’s EM C final en route to the state title.
Both clubs opened with road losses but bounced back with wins last Friday, Foxcroft over Livermore Falls and Bucksport over John Bapst of Bangor.
The Golden Bucks and Ponies both rely heavily on their rushing attacks. Bucksport is led by Joe Robicheau (124 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and Deven Eaton (145 yards), while Foxcroft features James McPhee (194 yards, 3 TDs) and Jerod Rideout (123 yards, 2 TDs).
Rockland (2-0) at Orono (1-1), 7 p.m., Friday: Rockland averages 478 yards per game, and leads the LTC with 333 passing yards behind QB Andrew Weiss. Weiss also has combined with Mike Marsh for 502 yards on the ground.
Dan Curtis, the LTC’s leading tackler, anchors a Rockland defense that has forced nine turnovers, including three fumble recoveries by Mark Boynton and two interceptions by Dom Morrill.
Orono rebounded from an opening-night loss against Mattanawcook to top Dexter last Friday. The Red Riots pounded out 375 rushing yards in that contest, including 175 from Mardy Simon and 117 from Travis Dunton.
Simon ranks second among LTC rushers with 355 yards on a 12.2 yards per carry average.
Bangor (1-1) at Brunswick (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday: These programs have met in the playoffs each of the last two years, with Bangor winning an Eastern A quarterfinal 16-13 last fall and Brunswick edging the Rams in the 2003 regional final.
Bangor is coming off a 49-0 victory over Mount Ararat of Topsham in which it got its running game untracked behind junior tailback Alex Gallant. The Bangor defense, meanwhile, held the Eagles to 95 total yards.
Brunswick had a Week 1 bye, then edged Cony of Augusta 14-7 last week behind fullback Adam Aube (22 carries, 140 yards) and a defense that limited the Rams to 53 total yards.
“They lost a lot up front from last year,” said Bangor coach Mark Hackett, “but I expect a really hard-fought football game. We just think they’re going to be real tough.”
Brewer (1-1) at Gardiner (1-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Brewer hopes to get back on the winning track after a hard-fought 26-20 loss at Waterville last Saturday.
Coach Ed Ortego’s Witches are led by the two-way play of RB-LBs Zach Wilson and Ben Caldwell, along with QB Ricky Porter and an improving line.
Gardiner started six sophomores on both offense and defense last week at Maranacook of Readfield due to injuries and player ineligibility. The Tigers will get some help this week with the return to good health of lineman Nick Robbins and running back Dan Fortune.
“Brewer’s got a great amount of size that we don’t have right now,” said Gardiner coach Matt Brown.
MDI (2-0) at Hampden Acad. (1-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Hampden went on the road last week to provide coach Harry McCluskey his first win with the Broncos, a 23-8 victory at Morse of Bath.
“We haven’t had a lot of penalties, and we’ve been pretty good on turnovers,” he said.
Hampden has been sparked by FB-LB Som Ratsakongsky, QB Chris Morris, WB Craig Sarnecki and a junior-laden line.
MDI has allowed just one TD in two wins, its defense led by linebackers Jeremiah Cousins and Andrew Leiser.
“They were competitive in both games and found a way to win,” said McCluskey. “We’re going to have to play a good game to beat them.”