The Cony football team features one of the more prolific passing attacks in the Pine Tree Conference’s Class A division. Tonight, the Rams will get an up-close look at one of the conference’s best running teams.

Cony (3-1) faces unbeaten Brunwick (4-0) in a matchup of contrasting styles with playoff implications at 7 tonight in Brunswick.

“This is a battle for not the top spot in the conference, but the winner certainly gets a leg up in the playoff race, that is for sure,” Brunswick coach Dan Cooper said. “Cony and us, we’re playoff teams. The winner could get that higher seed. It’s a big game for both.”

It’s also one of an abundance of big games on tap.

Elsewhere, Maranacook (4-0) will play at Dirigo (4-0) tonight in a key Western C Campbell Conference game. Also tonight, Gardiner (3-1) will host Hampden (3-1) at Hoch Field in a pivotal PTC B game.

“It’s a big thing for Maranacook to be 4-0 at this point,” Maranacook coach Joe Emery said. “We’re excited. It’s a big game for us.”

Brunswick and Cony come into tonight ranked second and fourth, respectively, in PTC A Crabtree points. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.

Brunswick is led by running back Jared Jensen, who leads the conference with 1,296 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 116 carries. Jensen averages 11.2 yards a carry and 324 yards a game.

“You have to focus on him,” Vachon said. “You have to stop him first. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”

Added Cony senior wide receiver/defensive back Chandler Shostak: “Jensen is a key player. We need to shut him down. If we do our jobs, we can get the win.”

Jensen set the tone early this season, rushing for 428 yards and five touchdowns in a 36-28 win over Bangor on opening night. He hasn’t slowed since. Jensen’s eye-popping performances forced Cooper to all but ditch what was supposed to be a diversified offense.

“We always try to be diversified but when you have a kid like that you have to give him the ball,” Cooper said. “He’s been amazing. I knew he’d be good but I didn’t expect him to be that good. I don’t know if you can expect anyone to do what he’s been doing. We just have to keep getting him the ball more.”

Like the Dragons, the Rams also present matchup problems for opposing defenses, only it’s through the air. Quarterback Ben Lucas leads the conference with 1,029 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s completed 74 of 134 passes (55.2 percent) and has four interceptions. His primary target, Shostak, leads the conference with 21 receptions for 312 yards and six touchdowns.

“They are a high-powered team,” Cooper said. “Lucas is fantastic. He has a lot of weapons and the line is pretty good. This is the best team we’ve seen on film so far.”

Brunswick buried Cony 35-7 at Alumni Field last season. The Rams hope to avenge that defeat.

“This game is going to be huge,” Lucas said. “Last year, the Brunswick game was an embarrassment for us. We want redemption.”

Maranacook and Dirigo may be the most surprising 4-0 teams in the Campbell Conference. Both teams place a heavy emphasis on the run but aren’t afraid to throw the ball.

Jesse Evans leads the Black Bears out of the backfield. He’s rushed for about 750 yards. Spencer Trenoweth leads a deep ground attack for Dirigo, which has come from behind to win three of its four games.

“They present a pretty good challenge,” Emery said. “We’re going to have to limit the penalties and play smart football.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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