The top four seeds in the Pine Tree Conference Class B playoffs are still up for grabs. Brunswick, Skowhegan and Brewer are each 6-1, while Mt. Blue is 5-2. The positioning won’t be decided until Week 8 is complete and the Crabtree Points are calculated.

Brunswick currently holds the top spot in the standings and can nail it down with a win over Nokomis (0-7). Skowhegan hosts Mt. Blue, while Brewer plays at Hampden Academy (2-5).

If Mt. Blue beats Skowhegan, and either Brunswick or Brewer losses, the Cougars still have a chance at earning one of the two byes out of the first round to the regional semifinals. Mt. Blue’s two losses came to Brewer and Brunswick in close games.

“We now know if we come out and we play our best football we can play with anybody in our league. That’s got to be our goal,” Mt. Blue coach Jim Aylward said after his team lost to Brunswick, 27-16, on Friday night. “In a weird scenario, we could’ve won (Friday) and if we lost next week (at Skowhegan) we could still finish fourth.”

Crabtree Points are calculated by adding your team’s winning percentage to the winning percentage of your opponents, and multiplying by 100. So who you play is almost as important as who you beat. If Brunswick, Skowhegan and Brewer each win this week, seedings will come down to the record of their opponents. In the PTC B, teams play eight of the other nine, so who you don’t play will be important, too. If the team you miss this season happens to have a winning record, that hurts your Crabtree Points.

For what it’s worth, Brunswick did not play Gardiner (1-6), Skowhegan did not play Hampden (2-5) and Brewer did not play Lawrence (3-4).


“I watched Brewer beat Brunswick. I know we could’ve beaten Brewer. Brewer’s a good team. Brunswick’s a good team. Skowhegan’s a good team. So is Mt. Blue,” Aylward said.

• • •

Another game with big playoff implications in the PTC B this weekend is Lawrence at Messalonskee. Both teams are 3-4, and the winner likely goes into the playoffs as the six seed.

“We’ll hopefully have a good week of preparation. We’ve seen Messalonskee once or twice. We realize they’re going to be a challenge for us, and we’ll accept it,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said.

After an 0-4 start, Lawrence has won three games in a row to get itself back into the playoff picture. One reason has been improved line play. Another has been the development of sophomore quarterback Braden Ballard. In Saturday’s 41-20 win at Nokomis, Ballard threw four touchdown passes. Ballard threw just three passes in the second half, and each went for a touchdown. On the season, Ballard has completed 56 percent of his passes (47 for 84) for 801 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“He’s got a nice touch on the ball. Given time, when he has good protection, he’s usually finding his receivers and making good decisions. He’s come along real nice,” Hersom said.


While the in-season improvement is obvious, Hersom said the foundation was set during summer workouts.

“We were just saying on the bus ride up, if we weren’t putting in the time we try to get our guys to spend in the summer, our passing attack would not be where it is today,” Hersom said after his team’s win at Nokomis.

• • •

Saturday is the annual Battle of the Bridge game between rivals Winslow and Waterville. Unlike the last two seasons, the regular season game will be the only time these teams meet this year.

Winslow and Waterville played four times in the 2013 and 2014 seasons combined — once in the regular season and again in the conference championship game — with Winslow winning three of the four games. While Winslow (7-0) is on track for another deep run in the playoffs, a young Waterville (2-5) team has struggled.

This season’s game will be at Waterville’s Drummond Field on Saturday at 1 p.m. Waterville leads the all-time series, 51-32-4.


• • •

With Friday’s 33-18 win at Mattanawcook Academy, Mount View knows it will be hosting a Little Ten Conference playoff game. At 5-2, the Mustangs have a shot at the No. 2 seed and a bye to the semifinals.

Because of strength of schedule, Mount View still sits just behind Mattanawcook, which holds a 1.7 point lead over the Mustangs for second place in the Crabtree Point rankings. If Mount View beats Washington Academy (2-5) and Mattanawcook (5-2) loses to Orono (4-3), the Mustangs can jump into second place.

“We’ll play around with the numbers,” Mount View coach Haggie Pratt said. “It puts us in good position if we take care of business versus Washington Academy.”

• • •

Around the state: The winner of Friday’s game between Cheverus and Windham will earn the No. 2 seed in Class A North. Both teams are 5-2… In Class B South, Falmouth (7-0) looks to be in good shape for the top seed. The battle for spots two through four between Biddeford (5-2), Leavitt (5-2) and Marshwood (5-2) is interesting. The three teams are separated by two points in the Crabtree standings. A lot will be resolved when Biddeford hosts Leavitt on Friday. Marshwood plays at York (2-5)… Foxcroft Academy (3-4) and Oceanside (3-4) each have a shot at the final playoff spot in the Big Ten Conference. Foxcroft plays at John Bapst (1-6) this week, while Oceanside hosts Belfast (3-4).

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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