The Maranacook football team passed its first big test of the season last week when it knocked Dirigo from the ranks of the unbeatens.

Test No. 2 comes tonight, when the Black Bears (5-0) welcome Winslow (4-1) to Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams.

“We expect a physical game,” Maranacook coach Joe Emery said. “It’s big for both of us. It’s going to be another challenge.”

Elsewhere tonight, Cony (4-1) will look to win its fifth consecutive Pine Tree Conference Class A game when it hosts Skowhegan (2-3) and Winthrop (2-3) hosts Boothbay (1-4) in a game it needs to keep its Western C Campbell Conference playoff aspirations alive.

Winslow and Maranacook are rolling toward the Campbell Conference Class C playoffs and there will be plenty at stake in Readfield tonight.

“It has all kinds of payoff implications,” Winslow coach Mike Siviski said. “There are home playoff berth implications for both teams. Last year, we were No. 2 at one point, lost a game, and dropped to No. 5. This is a (Crabtree) point-worthy game. Both teams are aware of this.”

Maranacook comes in ranked first in Crabtree points, which determine playoff positioning. Winslow is fifth. The Black Bears are also in the midst of a tough three-game stretch. The knocked off Dirigo last week and play 4-1 Oak Hill next weekend.

“It’s a tough stretch,” Emery said. “We’ll know a lot more about ourselves after these games.”

The Black Raiders and Black Bears feature big-play running backs and tough defenses. Senior Jesse Evans leads Maranacook with 647 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.

“Evans is obviously one of the top backs in the league,” Siviski said. “He’s also a good receiver. Maranacook also has a nice, big line. They are really an outstanding team. They are not undefeated for nothing.”

Maranacook will also look for another big game from quarterback Caleb Castonguay, who is a threat to throw and run.

“You have to keep him in your sights,” Siviski said. “He is a threat to throw but he is also a good, mobile quarterback who can scramble.”

The Raiders are bigger up front and lean on a host of running backs, including Joe Hopkins, Zach Guptil and Dylan Hapworth. They each rushed for nearly 100 yards in a 34-8 win over Yarmouth last week.

“Three backs with 100 yards, it’s very unusual,” Siviski said. “It’s a direct result of our offensive line.”

Added Emery: “My defensive line will need a big game. If we can’t play strong up front it’s going to be a long night.”

The three running backs and the rest of the Winslow offense that is ranked fourth in the conference with 30.2 points a game. However, they will have to contend with one of the tougher defenses in the conference. Maranacook is allowing a paltry 11.8 points a game, good for third in the conference behind Traip and Oak Hill.

“They’re tough,” Siviski said. “It’s going to be a good game.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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