For the fourth time in 10 years, the Waterville-Winslow football rivalry extends to the playoffs. Winslow (9-0), the top seed in the Eastern Class C playoffs, host No. 2 Waterville (8-1) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the regional final.

This is the second consecutive year the Black Raiders and Purple Panthers meet for the conference championship. The winner will face either Leavitt or Wells in the Class C state championship game on Friday, Nov. 21 at the University of Maine, in Orono.

In the three previous playoff meeting with Waterville, Winslow is 3-0. The Black Raiders defeated the Panthers in the regional final last season, 49-18, after Waterville won the regular season meeting, 25-21.

Waterville and Winslow played in the regional semifinals in back-to-back seasons, 2005 and 2006. In 2005, Winslow took a 29-28 win. The next season, the Black Raiders won, 31-7.

This is the third consecutive appearance in a regional final for each team. In 2012, Waterville lost to Mt. Blue in the Pine Tree Conference Class B championship game. That same season, Winslow beat Dirigo for the Campbell Conference title in Western Class C.

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Maine Central Institute got a boost with the return of Eric Hathaway and Jonathan Santiago from injury recently. Santiago was back for the Huskies’ regular season finale two weeks ago against Houlton, and he scored five of the 10 times he touched the ball. In MCI’s 20-0 Little Ten Conference semifinal win over Mattanawcook on Friday, Santiago ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

Hathaway, who played some in MCI’s exhibition game against Medomak Valley in week nine, was back at running back and defensive line on Friday. Hathaway ran for 111 yards and a touchdown, and helped lead a defense that dominated the Lynx.

“(Hathaway) played really well on both sides of the ball,” MCI coach Tom Bertrand said. “He picked up where he left off when he was hurt.”

MCI (9-0) hosts Bucksport on Saturday night for the LTC title.

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Here are some interesting stats from the Messalonskee-Brunswick PTC B semifinal game, won by Brunswick, 27-20.

• Messalonskee gained 434 yards of offense. Brunswick gained 407, with 305 of those coming on Will Bessey’s four touchdown runs of 92, 78, 44 and 91 yards. That means 75 percent of Brunswick’s offensive output came on those four scoring plays.

• Messalonskee’s offense ran 76 plays. Brunswick ran just 37.

• Messalonskee had five plays go for 20 yards or more, none of them were scoring plays. Brunswick had four plays of more than 20 yards, the four Bessey touchdown runs.

• Messalonskee dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for 33 minutes, 56 seconds, compare to Brunswick’s 15:04. Brunswick’s longest scoring drive was 1:45.

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Lawrence was just one of five teams to get some payback statewide in this past weekend’s playoff action.

The Bulldogs, Windham, Brunswick, Wells and Oak Hill each lost earlier this season to their semifinal opponents only to get them back when it mattered most.

In the case of the Raiders, you have to go back to Sept. 13 — just the second week of the season — to find the last time they lost, a 13-6 decision at home against Dirigo.

Friday night Oak Hill returned the favor with a 25-6 win in Dixfield in a game in which it controlled on both sides of the ball.

“The ball went our way,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “That’s a very good Dirigo team — well-coached.”

The win was particularly sweet for senior Kyle Flaherty. The tailback/linebacker went out with a hamstring injury in the first quarter of the loss to Dirigo and subsequently missed the next two weeks.

Friday night he was a driving force behind the Raiders’ victory, rushing for 140 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries.

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Around the state: The only division with neither 2013 regional champion still in the playoffs is Class B. Defending state champ Cony was eliminated on Saturday. Kennebunk, last year’s runner-up, was knocked out of the Western Class B playoffs in the first round. All other 2013 state game participants are still alive… In two playoff wins, Marshwood outscored its opponents 114-0… If Leavitt defeats Wells for the Western Class C title, the Hornets will play in the state championship game for the fifth time in six years. Leavitt won Eastern Class B in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and represented Western C in the state championship last season.

Staff Writer Evan Crawley contributed to this report.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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