The Maranacook Community High School football team accomplished one of its goals last week, winning a home playoff game.

The Black Bears’ next goal, a trip to the Campbell Conference Class C title game, is now within reach.

No. 3 Maranacook (8-1) beat Freeport 30-6 in the quarterfinals last Friday to set up a rematch with No. 2 Traip in the semifinals Saturday in Kittery.

“We have some challenges ahead of us,” Maranacook coach Joe Emery said. “It’s playoff time. You have to go 100 mph in the playoffs. It’s all about execution and turnovers.”

Maranacook defeated Traip 22-6 in the regular season opener.

“They’ve improved since we saw them,” Emery said, “but I think we have, too. We’re not looking forward to the bus ride, but we’ll be ready to go. This senior group, they’ll do whatever it takes to win. We go in expecting to win. It’s a different mentality than what we’ve had in the past.”

Maranacook will be without starting defensive tackle Chris Pettengill (foot injury) this week. Pettengill was among the team leaders in tackles.

• • •

Cony finished 2-7 after defeating Oxford Hills 14-13 in the regular season finale.

“The record speaks for itself,” Cony coach Robby Vachon said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

And, Vachon says, it starts with the offseason weightlifting program.

“That starts (this) week,” he said. “We’ve met as a staff and discussed the route we want to go. We think the kids are on board. The only way to compete in Class A football is to get bigger and stronger. It’s going to be a point of emphasis this offseason.”

There were plenty of bright spots for the Rams this season, most notably sophomore quarterback Ben Lucas.

Lucas led the PTC A with more than 1,500 passing yards and 16 touchdown passes.

“I was surprised at the play of (Lucas),” Vachon said. “We had a young offensive line, and he really did a great job.”

Vachon also said Taylor Carrier (defensive back), Ian Gingras (lineman) and Brandon St. Michel (running back) exceeded expectations. All are underclassmen and should return next year.

“They kept the light on for us,” Vachon said. “They got better and better every week. We told the younger kids we want to be better. We want to get back into the playoffs.”

• • •

Gardiner finally got quarterback Dennis Meehan involved in the running game, and it couldn’t have come soon enough for the Tigers.

“Having him run is part of the plan,” Gardiner coach Matt Burgess said. “We just haven’t needed him to or it hasn’t worked out.”

It certainly did in a 47-27 victory over Waterville in a Pine Tree Conference Class B quarterfinal last Friday night.

Meehan rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
“He’s a competitor,” Burgess said. “We work on it in practice. It was good to get him going.”

No. 3 Gardiner (7-2) will play at No. 2 Mt. Blue (8-1) in a PTC B semifinal game at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Cougars defeated the Tigers 43-26 on Sept. 23. Gardiner running back Alonzo Connor missed most of the game after injuring his elbow. He’s healthy now, and Burgess hopes it will make a difference this time around.

“Now we get a whole game with Alonzo,” Burgess said. “We can stretch the field a little bit.”

• • •

The Monmouth Academy club team wrapped up a perfect season, finishing 8-0.
The Mustangs, who play at the fairgrounds in Monmouth, competed primarily against junior varsity teams.

“We had a great season,” said Monmouth coach Norm Thombs, who is in his sixth season. “We had 33 kids on the team, and we played a tough schedule.”

Monmouth defeated junior varsity teams from Mountain Valley, Leavitt, Spruce Mountain and Mt. Ararat.

Thombs said he tried to schedule junior varsity teams from bigger schools.

Monmouth over the past three seasons has played several developmental teams, including Freeport, Telstar and Sacopee Valley. However, those programs are now playing a varsity schedule.

“Trying to get people to play us was tough,” Thombs said. “There are no real developmental teams left. But we were able to squeeze in some good competition.”

Four seniors — Scott Peacock (linebacker), Ryan Laroche (guard), Kevin Anderson (quarterback) and James Waldren (tailback) — led the way this season.

“Those guys could play anywhere,” Thombs said. “These kids have been playing football now since fifth and sixth grade.”

Monmouth is looking to form a co-operative team with Winthrop in the future.

Winthrop and Monmouth fielded a joint middle school team this season.

“We were trying to break the ice,” Thombs said. “I still hope it can happen at the varsity level. If we had a four-class system, we could probably stand on our own. But it’d be tough in a three-class system.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640
[email protected]

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