WALES — Knowing full well it would be playing the winner of Saturday’s Class D South quarterfinal football game between No. 1 Oak Hill (8-0) and No. 8 Traip (2-6), a few members of the Winthrop/Monmouth coaching staff were in attendance for the contest. They were not the only ones, though.

A handful of representatives from Maine Central Institute (8-0) — the top seed in the Little Ten Conference — were also in Wales on Saturday, although Raiders head coach Stacen Doucette said he is not worrying about any potential opponents down the road.

“We’re playing one game at a time,” he said. “We work on scouting the teams in our conference and worrying about the game at hand.”

Doucette said he watched Friday night’s game between the Ramblers and Black Bears — a 27-3 win for Winthrop/Monmouth (5-3) — and one of the things that jumped out most to him was the physicality of Oak Hill’s next opponent.

“They played a very physical team and they were very fast, very quick,” Doucette said.

The Ramblers went to a 46 Bear defense — popularized by former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Buddy Ryan — to slow down Maranacook’s running attack. The defense traditionally employs six players on the line of scrimmage and two at linebacker depth, but the Ramblers employed a variation with seven players on the line.

“We’ve run it a few times this year but before we just didn’t run it correctly,” Ramblers head coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “This time we carried it out just like we wanted.”

Winthrop/Monmouth has run a number of different defensive looks this season, at times running 5-3 and 4-4 alignments. It will certainly need to be on its game against what St. Hilaire called “a really good football team” in Oak Hill.

“Every game is a chess match at some point. Teams are playing to win and they’re going to pull out of all the stops,” Doucette said. “It’s important to get a lot of help from the tower on both sides of the ball and try to anticipate some challenges.”

• • •

Brunswick (7-1), which earned the top seed in Pine Tree Conference Class B and a bye into the semifinals, went back to the basics last week.

“We wanted to get better mentally,” Brunswick coach Dan Cooper said. “We really wanted to take the time to work on the mental part of the game. We wanted to pound that mental part, to go over rules and assignments and footwork.”

Cooper, whose team beat the No. 4 Cougars (6-3) 27-16 in a regular season game Oct. 16, said the bye week allowed a few players to recover from some minor injuries.

However, a week off also presented challenges.

“There’s pros and cons to the bye,” Cooper said. “You get to rest up and heal, which is great. But on the other hand, these are high school kids, and if you give them a break it doesn’t take long to forget assignments or lose their rhythm. The bye can definitely be a double-edged sword.”

• • •

For the second straight year Cony’s season came to a crushing conclusion.

Last fall the Rams fell 28-27 on a two-point conversion catch by Lawrence’s Seth Powers with 1:08 remaining in the PTC B semifinals. Friday night in Farmington, Cony let a 20-point halftime lead slip away and lost 35-34 to Mt. Blue on a touchdown grab by Nate Pratt-Holt on fourth-and-goal at the 10-yard line with 47.9 seconds remaining.

While the end was bitter for Cony’s 19 seniors, the group certainly left their mark with the program. According to head coach B.L. Lippert, this senior class went 27-13 in their four years and will go down as the winningest class in school history.

While the majority of the group did not see much playing time until their junior and senior seasons, players like Reid Shostak and Elijah Tobey made impacts as underclassmen — particularly in their sophomore years in Cony’s run to the Class B title.

More than anything, Lippert said, he will remember the kids that stuck with it like Dale Lapierre, who did not see much playing time until this past season.

“There are players who easily could have quit and prepared for a different season that stuck with it. That’s how you end up with 19 players who love football,” Lippert said. “That’s what I’ll remember most about these guys in addition to the success that they’ve had.”

• • •

Kents Hill (1-4) was originally scheduled to play a non-league game against The Gunnery School this past Saturday but due to a number of different reasons was forced to cancel.

“Our numbers our down, we had a couple kids who left school and some situations. Their numbers are down too,” Kents Hill head coach Steve Shukie said. “It wasn’t a good trip for a non-conference game and I wanted to make sure we finished the season with our conference. It wasn’t our finest moment but it was something we had to do.”

The Huskies will return to conference play on Sunday when they host New Hampton School at 2 p.m. The game was scheduled for Sunday to accommodate those students taking SATs Saturday.

Staff Writer Travis Lazarczyk and Sports Editor Bill Stewart contributed to this report.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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