The Skowhegan Area High School football team has taken to the spread offense installed by new head coach Matt Friedman. This is in complete contrast to the run heavy, double wing offense used by the Indians in recent years.

As proof, there is this stat. In the first two games, junior quarterback Adam Clukey completed 32 passes. Skowhegan quarterbacks attempted 33 passes the entire 2011 season.

“We’re getting better every week,” Friedman said.

The Indians (1-1) are still a work in progress. Friedman said the team needs to improve in run blocking.

“We still need to get better on the line,” Friedman said.

Clukey is doing a good job running the new offense. He’s completed 65 percent of his passes (32 of 49 with four touchdowns). Since Skowhegan played in 7-on-7 leagues in the summer, Friedman emphasized not locking in on a receiver and letting the play develop before making a throwing decision. That work is paying off now.

“Adam is making good decisions,” Friedman said. “He’s taking what defenses give him.”

Skowhegan has a tough game this week at Messalonskee (2-0).

“They’re tough on the line, both offensively and defensively. That’s the strength of their team, I think,” Friedman said of the Eagles.

* * *

Waterville head coach Frank Knight had to think a moment when asked the last time his team scored as many points as it did in Saturday’s 63-10 win over Oceanside. Maybe a game against Cony in the 1990s, Knight said.

The Purple Panthers certainly didn’t try to run up the score against the Mariners on Saturday. The final three touchdowns were scored by junior varsity and freshman players. It’s apparent, however, the Panthers’ offense can move the ball. Waterville (2-0) opened the season with a 36-14 win at Mt. Desert Island, and the Panthers lead the PTC in scoring.

“We had really good field position (against Oceanside) and we took advantage of it,” Knight said, “but that’s what you need to do.”

Senior running back Racean Wood scored three touchdowns and tight end Nick Danner caught two touchown passes. Quarterback Aidan FitzGerald threw three touchdown passes and has six scoring throws this season.

“FItzGerald has taken a step forward in his maturity level,” Knight said. “This is really an unselfish team, and that makes for a team playing well.”

The schedule gets tougher for the Panthers in the coming weeks. Waterville hosts Gardiner (2-0) on Saturday, and after a game at Morse on Sept. 21, the Panthers host three-time defending conference champ Leavitt. Lineman Tommy Cox and back Cam Thomas, who each missed the Oceanside game with an injury, should be back this week, Knight said.

“We’re not talking about anything but the next game. That’s our focus,” Knight said. “The kids are buying into it.”

* * *

Although Lawence won each of its first two games in dominating fashion, the Bulldogs still have plenty on which to improve. One thing is the exchange between first-year starting center Kyle McLain, a junior, and senior quarterback Spencer Carey.

Approximately a half dozen times during Friday’s 42-12 win over Bangor, the snap between McLain and Carey was mishandled. The Bulldogs never lost a fumble, but it can’t continue, Lawrence coach John Hersom said.

“I think we’re going to be fine, but we need to keep harping on that,” Hersom said. “Certainly, that could have been (bad). Those fumbles could have gone the other way and really started Bangor on some nice drives.”

Hersom said one of the reasons for the trouble could have been the humidity Friday night making the ball and Carey’s hands slick.

“(Carey’s) got a towel on his hip there, he’s trying to stay dry. We probably should have rotated another ball in to try and keep that ball from getting as much moisture on it as it did,” Hersom said. “Not to make excuses, I think that did play into it. Some of the botched snaps were probably (Carey) pulling out a little early.”

Lawrence hosts Oxford Hills (1-1) on Friday.

* * *

Around the state: Westbrook has started 2-0 and has defeated the last two Class B state champions, Mountain Valley and Wells… Through two games, Brunswick’s Jared Jensen has 711 yards rushing. Through two games last season, Lawrence’s Shaun Carroll led the Pine Tree Conference Class A in rushing with 411 yards. No runner in the league went over 711 yards until Week 5 of the 2011 season. … The last time Bangor opened the season 0-2 was 2002. That year, the defending state champion Rams lost to Skowhegan and Gardiner to open the season. In losses to Brunswick and Lawrence, the Rams gave up 78 total points, almost half of what they allowed all of last season (164). … The only team in the state still unscored on is Traip Academy of Kittery. The Rangers followed a 45-0 win over Telstar with a 35-0 win at Winthrop.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]


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