With two weeks left in the regular season, most leagues around the state have a clear-cut favorite, or at most, two teams vying the top seed in the upcoming playoffs. Then there’s the Pine Tree Conference B, where four teams still have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Brewer, Brunswick, Mt. Blue and Skowhegan are each 5-1, and thus far, they’ve beaten each other in the state’s most enjoyable to watch round robin.

In successive weeks, defending conference champion Brunswick beat Skowhegan and lost to Brewer. Skowhegan defeated Brewer a couple weeks ago before losing to Brunswick. Mt. Blue lost to Brewer in Week 2, and ends the regular season against Brunswick and Skowhegan.

“This is reason number one why I wanted to come over here when the job opened. This is fun. You play someone tough every week,” Mt. Blue head coach Jim Aylward said after his team eked out a close win at winless Nokomis on Saturday afternoon. “Nokomis, in the league I was in before (Campbell Conference), that would be a five or six win team. That’s not a bad football team. This is a tough league. This is a blast.”

Each of these four teams plays one of the others at least once in the final two weeks of the regular season, and that means none of the PTC B’s playoff seeds will be determined until the end of the regular season. Aylward’s Cougars have the toughest road to the postseason, with games against Brunswick and Skowhegan.

Brewer’s road to a top two seed and one of the two byes to the regional semifinal may be the easiest. The Witches play at Messalonskee (3-3) on Friday, and close the regular season at Hampden (1-5). After playing at Mt. Blue this week, Brunswick hosts Nokomis (0-6) in Week 8.

Skowhegan plays at Cony (3-3) on Friday, before hosting Mt. Blue next week.

“It’s just like we’ve said since they formed (the league) a couple years ago. It’s tough from top to bottom,” Skowhegan head coach Matt Friedman said. “Brewer beating Brunswick just shows that nobody’s invincible. If you come with the right gameplan and you play, any one of five or six teams can take it.”

• • •

After playing down in Class C the last two seasons, Nokomis moved up to Class B this season, where the school’s enrollment dictates it should be. While the Warriors haven’t seen their progress rewarded with a win in the very tough conference yet, head coach Matt O’Connell said he’s seeing his team making strides.

“We see improvement each week. It’s more of, each week I feel like we’re competitive for a little bit longer of a time. (Saturday) kind of showed that. We were competitive pretty much all of the game,” O’Connell said.

On Saturday, Nokomis lost to Mt. Blue, 24-14. The Warriors led 8-0 at the half, and had a chance to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter, but missed on a 2-point conversion attempt.

Some young athletes played well in Saturday’s game for Nokomis, and that bodes well for the future. Freshman quarterback Andrew Haining gained 95 yards of offense (72 passing, 23 rushing) and ran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Freshman Isaac Thibodeau had two catches for 35 yards, and sophomore Colby Pinette had two catches for 17 yards, including a 10-yard reception for a first down on the Warriors’ first scoring drive. Only two of the six ball carriers used by Nokomis against Mt. Blue were seniors.

“We’re giving ourselves opportunities to be successful. I couldn’t ask anything more of these guys. I love these guys,” O’Connell said.

Nokomis hosts Lawrence on Saturday.

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Keep an eye on the Big Ten Conference in the final two weeks of the regular season. The regular season conference title could come down to a coin flip.

Winslow and Old Town are both 6-0, but will not play each other in the regular season. If the two teams each finish the regular season undefeated, the league has to start going down the list of tiebreakers as outlined in the Maine Principals’ Association football bulletin.

In this scenario, the Black Raiders and Coyotes will have the same number of Crabtree points, since they will have played the exact same schedule. Crabtree points are calculated by adding a team’s winning percentage to its opponents’ winning percentage, and multiplying by 100.

There will be no head-to-head meeting, so we move to Heal points. Again, with Winslow and Old Town playing the exact same schedule, Heal points is a tie. The next tiebreaker is division record within the conference, also a tie. Overall record also will be a tie, since no Big Ten Conference teams played an out of conference opponent.

Finally, it comes down to a coin toss for the top seed and home field throughout the regional playoffs.

On paper, Old Town has a tougher road to 8-0 than Winslow. The Coyotes host Madison (3-3) this week and close the regular season against Mt. Desert Island, which could also be playing for a bye out of the first round when the teams meet in Old Town on Oct. 23. Winslow hosts Hermon (0-6) on Saturday before playing at rival Waterville (1-5) in the Battle of the Bridge on Oct. 24.

• • •

Around the state: The big game in the Little Ten Conference this week is Mount View (4-2) at Mattanawcook (5-1). The winner is likely the two seed in the conference playoffs and will have a bye to the regional semifinals… In Class C South, first place is up for grabs on Friday when 6-0 Cape Elizabeth plays at 6-0 Yarmouth,.. There will be a pair interclass games this week. Class C Spruce Mountain plays at Class B Leavitt, and Class B Gorham is at Class C Fryeburg. In 2013 and 2014, Spruce Mountain and Leavitt were rivals in Class C West.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

<URL destination=””>[email protected]

</URL>Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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