Biddeford High School football head coach Brian Curit has been around the Tigers program for 35 years, and he can’t recall ever playing a game against Skowhegan. The closest the Tigers and Indians ever came to playing each other, Curit said, was in 1990, when Biddeford scouted Skowhegan as a possible opponent in the Class A state championship game. Biddeford ended up playing Lawrence in that title game, and the matchup against Skowhegan never happened.

Now, thanks to crossover games on every team in the state’s schedule, Skowhegan and Biddeford finally meet, 27 years as after that scouting expedidition by the Tigers coaching staff. While nothing as big as a state championship is at stake in this game, it’s important for both teams as they fight for playoff positioning in their respective conferences.

Skowhegan is 3-2, winner of two consecutive games, and tied with Messalonskee for third place in the Pine Tree Conference Class B. Biddeford, also 3-2, is in fifth place in the Campbell Conference Class B. This game should be worth enough Heal Points to bump the winner up at least one spot in the standings.

Here is a look at the Skowhegan-Biddeford matchup:

Where: Waterhouse Field, Biddeford

When: 7 tonight

Skowhegan coach Ryan Libby on Biddeford: “Biddeford looks like another good South team. I think they’re going to compete in the playoffs. The South has been very tough.”

Biddeford coach Brian Curit on Skowhegan: “They look incredibly athletic. We watched film of them against Hampden. I know Hampden is struggling, but Skowhegan can make you look like you’re struggling. They make people miss.”

Three keys for Skowhegan:

• Don’t do me like that.

Biddeford runs the triple option offense, a system Skowhegan hasn’t seen this season, and many Skowhegan defenders have never faced. Playing assignment defense is important in stopping the triple option when it’s run well, which Biddeford has done for years. Stopping the run has been the weak point in Skowhegan’s game this season. Prepping all week in practice is key to making sure the Indians recognize what they see when Biddeford runs it at game speed.

“The triple option is a bit of a different run game, so I’m hoping maybe we can find a way to be successful against that,” Libby said, “but it’s still a power run game and we’ve got to do our job and tackle our assignments.”

• Learning to fly.

This is something Skowhegan has done well in recent games. With a deep group of wide receivers, led by seniors Cam Barnes, Jon Bell, and Sean Savage, quarterback Marcus Christopher has a lot of weapons from which to choose. Biddeofrd typically runs man-to-man coverage, so Christopher needs to continue doing what he has been, finding the open receiver and delivering the ball quickly.

“They look like a team that wants to come out and run man. If they stick with that philosophy, we’ll see how we match up man-to-man with Marcus and his crew,” Libby said.

• Runnin’ down a dream.

Against Falmouth two weeks ago, Curit felt the Tigers played well against the pass, but struggled to contain the run, particularly in the second half when the Yachtsmen pulled away. Like Falmouth, Skowhegan will use the spread offense. While the Indians throw more out of the spread formations than Falmouth, Skowhegan might want to consider running more, using its shifty receivers on jet sweeps in concert with running back Hunter Washburn.

Three keys for Biddeford:

• You wreck me.

Skowhegan receivers are going to get open. The Tigers need to make sure Christopher has as little time as possible to find them. That starts up front, with the defensive line winning the battles at the line of scrimmage.

• It’s good to be king.

Biddeford quarterback Carter Edgerton has 10 touchdown passes this season, and a talented receiver in Cody Saucier. That said, Skowhegan’s biggest defensive problems have come against the run. Edgerton might be better off trying to beat Skowhegan with his feet, not his arm.

“Our defense has been a little bit of heel for us, especially stopping the run. We can stop the pass with those athletes, but stopping the run has been a problem,” Libby said.

• The waiting.

The Tigers can’t get frustrated if this game turns into a shootout, like the game against Falmouth two weeks ago. When frustration takes hold, that’s when you press and try to do too much. Curit said his team needs to focus on the basics.

“Do your job. Worry about your man,” Curit said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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