The Cony football team made good use of its bye week, coach Robby Vachon said, but the Rams are eager to play again.
The second-ranked Rams (6-2) will be back in action Friday night, when they host No. 3 Messalonskee (6-3) in a Pine Tree Conference Class B semifinal game at Alumni Field.
The Rams and top-seeded Brunswick earned first-round byes.
“It was really good, because we were able to take a lot of days and just focus on one side of the ball. We went offense a couple of times and then did defense a couple of times. In a regular week you are just trying to cram as much in as possible, so this was nice.”
Cony defeated Messalonskee 48-20 in the regular season opener Sept. 6. Vachon said film from that game is still useful despite Messalonskee playing much better football in recent weeks.
“They still do a lot of the same stuff so it’s helpful,” Vachon said. “There’s a lot you can still get out of it. They haven’t changed too much, although obviously they are a lot more seasoned now.”
Cony is a bit more seasoned, too, since early September, particularly on offense. The Rams are averaging 42.8 points a game, which leads the PTC B.
However, Cony has struggled at times defensively this season. They’ve allowed at least 26 points in three games.
“I think we’re growing defensively,” Vachon said. “We’ve had some good games and then we’ve had some where we weren’t as physical as I’d like us to be. We’ve moved a few people around and hopefully we’ll be ready.”
Charlie Hallak and Austin Davis, two athletic players, are among a handful of players who’ve moved around this season. They’ve played on the line, linebacker and in the secondary at times as Vachon tried to find the right fit.
“We’ve tried a lot of people in new spots,” Vachon said.
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Winthrop/Monmouth (9-0) expects its starters to play a full four quarters in a Western D Campbell Conference semifinal game Friday night against No. 4 Dirigo (6-3).
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been tested,” Winthrop/Monmouth coach Joel Stoneton said. “There is some concern around that. We’re conditioning our kids that we’ll need all four quarters this week.”
The Ramblers last needed their starters to play a full game on Sept. 18, when they beat Oak Hill 18-13.
Since then, they’ve rolled past Boothbay, Telstar (twice) and Maranacook. The Ramblers were also rewarded a victory when Sacopee Valley was forced to forfeit due to a lack of healthy players.
Winthrop/Monmouth has outscored its opponents 165-28 in its last four games.
“We’ll have to be ready for Dirigo,” Stoneton said. “They present a real challenge for us. They are an extremely physical football team and we’ll have to be prepared to match that.”
The Ramblers beat the Cougars 24-14 in Week 3.
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Oak Hill (7-2) will host Lisbon (7-2) in a Western D Campbell Conference semifinal game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Raiders beat the Greyhounds 33-14 in the regular-season finale.
However, Lisbon played without Quincy Thompson (elbow) that game, and he might play Saturday.
“We are preparing for the whole Lisbon team,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “Lisbon has a lot of athletes and we’re expecting all of them to play. We’re preparing like he will play.
“We just have to make sure that we play with emotion and play to our responsibilities. We expect a physical game with them. We’re excited.”
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Kents Hill made the most of its first night game in several years with a convincing 34-21 victory over Tilton on Saturday.
“It was a great environment,” first-year Kents Hill coach Steve Shukie said. “It was a big night for us. The kids loved it and there was a lot of energy.”
The Huskies (2-5) scored touchdowns in five different ways in the victory — a punt return, a fumble recovery returned for a TD, a blocked punt, an interception return and a passing TD.
“Pretty interesting,” Shukie said. “You don’t see that too often.”
Nelkas Kwemo returned after missing five weeks with an injury and gave the Huskies a much-needed lift. Kwemo had 11 tackles and returned a punt for a touchdown.
Kents Hill closes the season Saturday at rival Hebron (1-6).
“It’d be nice to finish the season with a winning streak,” Shukie said.