WINTHROP — The Winthrop/Monmouth football team is no longer without a signature win under second-year coach Dave St. Hilaire.

Last Friday night the Ramblers scored a 12-7 win over a talented Dirigo team at Harlow Park thanks to a game-winning drive in the final four minutes, capped off by a 1-yard touchdown plunge from quarterback Matt Ingram with 6.9 seconds remaining.

Winthrop/Monmouth (2-1) will look to maintain that momentum at 7 p.m., Friday at Maxwell Field when it faces another tough team in unbeaten Maranacook (2-0). The Black Bears have not had as difficult of a schedule as the Ramblers, yet should provide every bit as much of a challenge.

Here is a look at how the two teams match up:

Players to watch: Winthrop/Monmouth — QB Matt Ingram, FB/DE Alec Brown, SE/CB Bennett Brooks, HB/OLB Dustin Tripp, HB/S Nate Scott, WB/DE Andrew Pazdziorko, C/DT Brendon Dunn, G/MLB Josh Ward, TE/CB Ben Ames, G/DT Jack Vickerson. Maranacook — QB/MLB Kyle Morand, OT/DT Dillan Chicoine, TE/CB Levi Emery, WB Zach Lacasse, DE/RB Jake Gibson, DE Ty Smith, WB/OLB Drew Davis.

Winthrop/Monmouth coach Dave St. Hilaire on Maranacook: “First and foremost is their size, obviously with guys that are 300-plus. They’ve got big guys whether they’re tall and big or just tall, I mean, they’re big.”

Maranacook coach Joe Emery on Winthrop/Monmouth: “Whether it be running the ball or on their pass rush or just trying to contain their quarterback, they have speed everywhere.”

Three keys for Winthrop/Monmouth:

1. Pace and space. The Ramblers will not have a size advantage against the Black Bears but have the edge in speed. Winthrop/Monmouth will need to find ways to get their players the ball in space as to avoid Maranacook’s powerful front line.

2. Gang tackle. Lacasse, Gibson and Davis provide the speed in the Black Bears’ single wing attack but the team is not afraid to have Morand call his own number. At 6-foot-1, 214-pounds, it will take more than one defender to take him down.

3. Clean sheet. In the Ramblers two wins, they have limited penalties and have taken care of the football. In their loss to Lisbon, they did not. Winthrop/Monmouth will need to limit its unforced errors to knock off the Black Bears.

Three keys for Maranacook:

1. Time is on its side. The less possessions in the game the better chance the Black Bears have at winning, as it plays into their grind-it-out style. Maranacook will be in good shape if it can sustain long offensive possessions.

2. Keep up the D. The Black Bears have outscored their opponents 41-0 so far this season. Winthrop/Monmouth showed last week it could win a low-scoring football game, but a contest where only a few touchdowns are scored still plays into Maranacook’s favor.

3. Pick your spots. It is no secret that the Black Bears want to run the ball. It is their strength and to their benefit to play into it, but a well-timed, play-action pass when the safeties start to cheat up could provide Maranacook with a key spark.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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