WALES — For the second straight season, the Oak Hill and Dirigo high school football teams meet early in the year in what could be a potential playoff matchup in November.

The two teams met twice a season ago, with the Cougars grabbing a 14-6 win in the regular season and the Raiders winning 25-6 in Dixfield in the Campbell Conference Class D semifinals. Oak Hill — which will wear camouflage jerseys as a part of its military appreciation day — will be looking for a better result Saturday than when the two teams met in the regular season last fall.

Both teams enter the contest coming off blowout wins in their respective season openers. The Raiders rolled Old Orchard Beach 42-15, while the Cougars crushed Telstar 56-0. Here’s a look at how the two teams match up:

Players to watch: Dirigo — QB Riley Robinson, RB/LB Mike Casey, RB/DB Gavin Arsenault, RB Cooper Chiasson, C/DE Dalton Berry. Oak Hill — QB Dalton Therrien, WR/DB Jonah Martin, RB/LB Levi Buteau, OL/DT Brendan Tervo, WR/DB Conner Nilsson, OT/DT Connor Elwell, C/DL Garrett Gile, OL/DE Austin Goucher.

Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette on Dirigo: “They’re a very well-coached team. They’re big, they’re physical and I think they have one of the best players in our conference, one of the best QBs in the state in (Robinson). He’s a very good athlete and he’s a competitor. He’s a ‘refuse to lose’ type athlete. He’s everything you want in the quarterback position as a coach and they’re a very, very good team.”

Dirigo coach Jim Hersom on Oak Hill: “We’re looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity. You’re going to play the two-time defending state champion at their house on a Saturday afternoon. For a high school athlete, what better opportunity do you have than that? We’ve got some good football players, but we know they’re a good team. It will give us a good measuring stick for where we are and it’s going to be a good challenge for us.”

Three Keys for Oak Hill:

1. Pace setters. Whether lined up in the double wing or spread offense, the Raiders have the ability to change the pace of the game in an instant. At times Oak Hill will look to slow the game down, but the Cougars better be ready for when the Raiders switch to their no-huddle offense.

2. Value possession. It’s something that can be said for just about every game, but winning the turnover battle will be key to whoever comes out on top Saturday. “(We’re going to have to) limit the mental mistakes and play Raider football,” Doucette said.

3. Eyes on Robinson. The quarterback is capable of beating teams with his arm, but he is likely the Cougars’ best runner as well. Arsenault is also a threat, but Oak Hill will have to be aware of not only Robinson’s scrambling ability but the designed runs as well.

Three keys for Dirigo:

1. Spy Therrien. For as good as Robinson is, Therrien is just as talented, if not more. Not only is he capable of burning teams through the air, but — as he showed last week in rushing for 150 yards and two touchdowns on seven attempts — the senior signal caller can pick apart a defense with his legs when afforded the room to do so.

2. Grind away. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. The Raiders are very dangerous when they have the ball, but the Cougars could mitigate some of that effectiveness if they can maintain long, fruitful drives.

3. Make special teams special. Joe Casey brought back the opening kickoff in last fall’s regular season contest 82 yards for a touchdown in the 14-6 Dirigo win. A big play on special teams could make the difference between two very evenly match teams.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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