The field for the Pine Tree Conference Class A playoffs is just about set.

Lawrence (7-0), Brunswick (6-1) and Messalonskee (6-1) have each clinched a spot. Cony (5-2) can clinch a spot with a win over Lewiston this week or an Oxford Hills (3-4) loss to Edward Little.

Oxford Hills is the only other team still in the hunt, but it needs to beat EL and have Cony to lose to Lewiston. Then, Oxford Hills must beat Cony in the regular-season finale.

Lawrence can clinch the top seed this week with a win at Brunswick and a Messalonskee loss at Bangor.

There is still the possibility of a three-way tie between Brunswick, Messalonskee and Cony for second place. For that to happen, the following must occur:

* Lawrence beats Brunswick and Messalonskee to finish the regular season 9-0.

* Brunswick beats Mt. Ararat in Week 9 to finish 7-2.

* Messalonskee beats Bangor this week to finish 7-2.

* Cony beats Lewiston and Oxford Hills to finish 7-2.

Messalonskee beat Cony, Cony beat Brunswick and Brunswick beat Messalonskee. With a round robin schedule, the Crabtree points will be identical, as will Heal points. The division record tiebreaker is not applicable, and the fourth tiebreaker is overall record. That leaves a coin flip to sort out the three remaining playoff positions.

* * *

You know a team has lofty goals when it can call a 42-13 win sloppy, but that’s how Mt. Blue coach Gary Parlin felt about his team’s lopsided win over Morse on Saturday.

“We really made a lot of mental mistakes we haven’t made in the last three or four weeks. Our full effort wasn’t there,” Parlin said. “When we watched film with the kids, I think they agreed.”

Two bright spots were senior wide receiver Nate Backus and senior quarterback Jordan Whitney. Playing just his second game since returning from a hand injury, Backus caught four passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns, and had three carries for 27 yards. Whitney completed 8 of 13 passes for 226 yards and five touchdowns. Whitney now has 20 touchdown passes and just two interceptions this season.

Although Mt. Blue is the lone undefeated team in the PTC B division, the Cougars still need a win over Waterville (4-3) on Friday night to clinch homefield throughout the playoffs. A Mt. Blue loss coupled with a Leavitt (6-1) win over Gardiner would slide the Cougars to second place.

“We had a good practice (Monday). We know we’re up against a very good team this week.”

* * *

Messalonskee halfback Corey McKenzie returned for Friday’s game against Mt. Ararat after missing a pair of games because of a concussion. It was the perfect game to ease McKenzie back into the lineup. Messalonskee jumped out to a big lead early and went on to a 68-7 win.

McKenzie ran the ball just six times, but gained 96 yards and scored four touchdowns.

“That was our thought going in,” interim head coach Chapin LaBelle said. “We gave (McKenzie) a few series, all short fields, so it worked out.”

The Eagles clinched a playoff spot and now are just playing for positioning. They’ll be at Bangor on Friday and a win gives Messalonskee a rare winning streak over the Rams. The Eagles clinched a playoff spot last season with a win over Bangor.

“They seem to be getting some guys back (from injury),” LaBelle said of Bangor. “They played a good game against Lewiston last week.”

* * *

Nokomis’ 6-0 win at Camden Hills on Friday night was the first shutout win in program history, coach Haggie Pratt said, and the Warriors needed a big defensive stop late in the game to secure the milestone.

Nokomis turned away the Windjammers inside their own 20-yard line in the final minute of the game. Nokomis got the ball back with 52 seconds left and ran out the clock.

“They were right there, knocking on the door,” Pratt said. “We had to fight for it. It was a tough win. We’re pretty happy with that.”

Nokomis (2-5) can finish the season with the best record in its short history with a win at home on Saturday over Madison (2-5).

“What I’ve seen of Madison, they do some good things,” Pratt said. “They have some good athletes.”

* * *

Around the state: Fryeburg (3-4) and Spruce Mountain (3-4) are tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in Class B West. They’ll play each other Saturday in Fryeburg in what amounts to a playoff game…Orono (6-1) and John Bapst (6-1) will play for first place in the Little Ten Conference when they play at the University of Maine on Thursday night. The loser likely enters the playoffs as the third seed, behind No. 2 Foxcroft … Yarmouth (1-6) will be the only participant in the 2011 state championship games to not reach the playoffs this season. The Clippers won back-to-back state titles in 2010 and 2011, and entered the season on a 24-game win streak.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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