The Winthrop/Monmouth football team made the best of its unexpected bye week.

On Thursday, Sacopee Valley informed Winthrop/Monmouth that it was forfeiting Friday night’s scheduled game due a lack of healthy players. On Thursday and Friday, the Ramblers practiced in anticipation of this week’s game at Boothbay.

“We got a chance to rest, but at the same time, everybody else (in the conference) got better but us,” head coach Joel Stoneton said.

The Ramblers (6-0) had already begun sprinkling some Boothbay prep into practice, so the transition was smooth, Stoneton said. On Friday night, the team had a spaghetti dinner and took part in some Homecoming activities at Monmouth Academy.

“It was more of a bonding evening than the game would have been,” Stoneton said.

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Going in, Cony didn’t look at last Friday’s game against Hampden as a statement game, but with a 42-0 win over the Broncos, a statement was made. At 5-1, the Rams are now tied with Brunswick for the best record in the Pine Tree Conference Class B division. Hampden, which had won four straight, dropped to 4-2.

“I guess it just turned into it,” Cony head coach Robby Vachon said. “I think maybe we were lucky to catch them on an off night.”

The Cony defense helped turn it into an off night for the Broncos. When studying Hampden on film, Cony noticed opponents playing soft zone coverage on the Broncos receivers, giving quarterback Matt Martin time to find the open man. The Rams decided to play tight man coverage against Hampden, and it worked. Martin was 7 for 17 for just 58 yards and threw two interceptions.

“We forced him into tough situations,” Vachon said.

This week, Cony plays its crossover game at Greely. The Rangers (3-3) are coming off back-to-back losses to Kennebunk and York, but Vachon said they cannot be taken lightly. Greely runs a variation of the shotgun offense. Unlike a normal shotgun, like Cony’s where quarterback Ben Lucas is 5 yards behind the center when he receives the snap, Greely’s quarterback is just 2 yards behind the center.

“It’s a look we haven’t seen,” Vachon said.

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Messalonskee became the first team to beat Brunswick this season by playing strong defense. Entering the game, Brunswick averaged 47 points per game, but Messalonskee prevented the Dragons from reeling off big plays in the 21-14 overtime win.

“We did some things with our front prior to Brunswick snapping the ball, and I think it worked to confuse them a little,” Messalonskee head coach Brad Bishop said.

Bishop said linebackers Dylan Bragg and Robert Schlosser played well.

“Our linebackers played a much better game,” Bishop said. “They’re seniors, but they don’t have a lot of varsity experience.”

Offensively, Messalonskee expected the play action pass would be an important part of the game plan. Once the game started, though, it was apparent the Eagles were winning the battle at the line of scrimmage. The Eagles ran for 260 yards.

“We really moved them off the ball,” Bishop said. “We held the ball for long stretches of time.”

Messalonskee (3-3) plays at Hampden (4-2) on Friday.

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It’s unofficially official. This will be Gary Parlin’s final season as head football coach at Mt. Blue High School.

“I haven’t put in my resignation or anything,” Parlin said, “but that’s the plan.”

Earlier this season, Parlin told his team that this would be his last season. He plans on retiring from both coaching and teaching after this school year.

“I’ve been doing it for 35 years. I really think our program is in a strong position,” Parlin said. “It’s probably time.”

After he earned his 100th career win, in Week 2 of the 2012 season, Parlin foreshadowed his retirement, saying at the time he planned on coaching three more seasons after the 2010 season was over.

This is Parlin’s 21st season as the Cougars’ head coach. Known for introducing the spread offense to Maine high school football in the 1990s, Parlin currently has 129 wins, two championship game appearances and one state title — won last season when the Cougars were the only undefeated team in the state.

Parlin is second in career wins at Mt. Blue, behind his predecessor, Ray Caldwell. If he could just coach on Friday nights, he would continue, Parlin said, but part of the fun of the job is working with students all day in school, too.

“The best part of coaching is, I have interactions with these guys all day long,” Parlin said.

The Cougars (3-3) play at Brewer on Friday.

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Around the state: In Friday’s 61-0 win over Mountain Valley, Leavitt extended its shutout streak to 18 quarters . The Hornets (6-0), have outscored their opponents 237-0 over their last four games… Cheverus’ 52-7 win over Thornton on Saturday was a statement to the rest of Class A that the Stags are the team to beat again this season. After winning back-to-back state titles in 2010 and 2011, Cheverus lost the West A regional final to Thornton last season. On Saturday, the Stags led the Trojans 42-7 at the half… You think the last couple weeks of your teams’ schedule are hard? Look at Bucksport. The Golden Bucks (6-0) close the regular season with back-to-back games against currently unbeaten opponents, MCI and Mattanawcook.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com