BRUNSWICK — Shortly after 9 p.m. on Friday night there will be one team in first place in the Pine Tree Conference Class B division. Will it be Skowhegan or Brunswick? That will be determined on the field at Brunswick High School when the final two undefeated teams in the conference meet.

For Skowhegan, this is the second game in a row against an undefeated opponent. The Indians held off Brewer last week, 21-14. Brunswick, the defending conference champion, is coming off a pair of impressive wins over Messalonskee and Cony.

At midseason, this is a good measuring stick game for both teams. Here’s a look at how the two teams match up:

Players to watch: Skowhegan — QB Garrett McSweeney, RB/S Kam Doucette, TE/DE Sam Baker, T/DT Owen Boardman, WR/S Spencer Salley. Brunswick — RB/LB Will Bessey, QB/S Thomas Hanson, T/DT Josh Goodard, WR/DB Alan Molnar, T/DT Logan Ouellette.

Skowhegan coach Matt Friedman on Brunswick: “They’ve got a couple other running backs who can get the job done, so you can’t focus on one guy (Bessey). Defensively, they played Cony very well a couple weeks ago against the pass. They’ve shown they can do it. They’ve had to do it the last three or four years. I think they’re hitting their stride, as far as covering pass offenses.”

Three keys for Skowhegan:


1. Respect the run, but be ready to defend the pass.

The Dragons have Bessey, one of the best running backs in the state. But in Hanson, Brunswick has a quarterback who has shown he can throw the ball and that has added a new dimension to the Dragons’ offense this season.

“They’ve shown a pretty decent passing game this year. They’ve thrown a lot more than in the past and they’ve got some very speedy guys on the outside,” Friedman said.

2. Continue to spread the ball around.

A strength of Skowhegan’s spread offense is so many players have contributed. McSweeney has a handful of receivers led by Salley and Baker, while Doucette and Luke Bolster have done a good job running the ball. That depth will be important for the Indians against a strong Brunswick team.

3. Cut back on mistakes.


Brewer turned an early interception into a touchdown drive last week and Friedman pointed to too many penalties that put Skowhegan in a hole. The Indians overcame those mistakes to beat the Witches, but can’t count on that happening against a good team two weeks in a row.

“We were very fortunate to beat Brewer last week with the times we gave back the ball either with turnovers or bad penalties,” Friedman said.

Three keys for Brunswick:

1. Take your shots.

The running game is still the focus of Brunswick’s offense but, as already mentioned, the Dragons have the weapons to throw the ball, too. A well-timed deep pass could change the complexion of the game.

2. No defensive lapses.


Skowhegan is tough to defend because so many players get involved. Brunswick has to pay attention to everybody.

3. A little trickery?

Since Dan Cooper became head coach at Brunswick one of the Dragons’ favorite trick plays has been the halfback pass. Brunswick has used the play to great success over the years, notably in playoff wins at Lawrence. This point goes hand in hand with key No. 1. If Skowhegan is doing a good job stopping the run, the halfback pass is a play the Dragons could use as a spark.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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