Maine Central Institute junior Seth Bussell is already regarded as one of the top two-way linemen in Class C North, now the 5-foot-8, 225 pounder may have a new position in the Huskies backfield as he played fullback in a 34-20 win over Foxcroft Academy last Friday. Not only did he help open holes for other runners, basically as a guard with a five-yard running start, Bussell had 21 carries for 106 yards.

“We’ve been playing (Bussell) at fullback a little,” MCI coach Tom Bertrand said. “He gives us that big fullback look. He’s one of our best linemen, but he gives us another dimension at fullback.”

With Bussell in the backfield, the Huskies ran for 363 yards against the Ponies. Workhorse Adam Bertrand ran for 179 yards on 34 carries, while Pedro Matos added 78 yards on 10 carries.

“Adam loves having Seth back there,” coach Bertrand said.

Offensive line depth is a strength for MCI, and that allowed Bertrand to shift Bussell to the backfield despite having a starting lineman out with an illness. Juniors Dan Pratts and Sam Tilton stepped in and played well on the line.

The win improved MCI to 4-3 in its first season in Class C. The Huskies are in third place in the region with the regular season finale Friday night against No. 2 Winslow (6-1). The Black Raiders will be a good test for the Huskies as they enter the playoffs.

“They’re Winslow. They’re big, strong, physical, and well-coached. We know it’s going to be a battle,” Bertrand said.

• • •

In a 12-8 win over Mountain Valley on Friday, the Madison Area Memorial High School football team was held to a season-low in scoring.

“It feels like the last couple of weeks, we’ve had trouble finding our rhythm,” Madison coach Scott Franzose said. “At the same time we’ve discussed how it’s not always going to be easy.”

The Bulldogs still earned the win to improve to 6-1, thanks to a strong defensive effort against Mountain Valley’s spin offense. The spin is much like the double wing, in that it relies a lot on misdirection, but in a spread formation. The Falcons had scored at least 20 points in five consecutive games before Madison held them to a touchdown. Franzose cited inside linebacker Brad Peters, and defensive linemen Matt Oliver and Ty Friend as keys to Madison’s defensive effort.

“I thought we did very well,” Franzose said.

Madison is in second place in the Class D South standings, and will stay there with a win over Spruce Mountain (5-2) this week. That would keep the Bulldogs at home in the playoffs until the regional championship game.

“We don’t want to take anything for granted,” Franzose said. “Spruce gives us some challenges with their 30 stack defense.”

• • •

After four consecutive losses put Waterville on the playoff bubble, the Purple Panthers gave their postseason chances a huge boost with a 41-13 win over Old Town on Saturday. Now 3-4, Waterville closes the regular season at Hermon (5-2) on Friday. Coming off a winless season last year, competing for a playoff spot is a big step forward for the program.

“After the rough season we had last year, this was everything,” Waterville coach Matt Gilley said after Saturday’s win.

The top eight teams in Class C North make the playoffs. Waterville now sits in seventh place, approximately eight points ahead of John Bapst (2-5). The Panthers were helped last week when Medomak Valley upset John Bapst. Waterville beat Medomak, 14-0, in the second week, and Medomak’s win strengthened the Panthers’ Heal Point ranking. Waterville will get a boost this week when Medomak Valley plays Old Town. No matter which team wins, it’s a team Waterville defeated.

“We got a little help from Medomak (Friday). With Heal Points, you know from basketball can get crazy. We’re taking a look at this. This helped our cause, no doubt. A win next week (Hermon) would really help us out,” Gilley said.

• • •

Here are a few interesting statistics following Skowhegan’s 58-56 win over Lawrence, the highest-scoring game in the state so far this season:

• Skowhegan and Lawrence combined for 1,061 yards of offense.

• The 58 points allowed was the most surrendered by Lawrence since Cheverus scored 49 points against the Bulldogs in the 2011 Class A state championship game. It’s been at least 13 seasons since Lawrence gave up 50 points in a game, according to scores found on going back through the 2004 season.

• There are 38 teams in the state with a winning record. Skowhegan has allowed more points than any of the other 37, by far. Only one other team, Washington Academy, has allowed more than 200 points (207).

• With one week left in the regular season, Skowhegan has played in three of the top four scoring games in the state. This 58-56 game against Lawrence is the top-scoring game. The next three are: Biddeford 56, Skowhegan 54; Washington Academy 58, Telstar 49; and Messalonskee 57, Skowhegan 42.

• • •

Around the state: A group of men working on a roof near Waterville’s Drummond Field became a Central Maine Facebook sensation over the weekend, after pictures of them standing for the national anthem prior to the Old Town-Waterville game circulated… Greely improved its win streak to five games with a 20-7 win over York. The 5-2 Rangers close the regular season at Falmouth Friday… At 2-5, Mount View needs a win over Winthrop/Monmouth to earn a Little Ten Conference playoff bid… Since a 21-20 loss to Winslow in Week 1, Mt. Desert Island has won six in a row. The Trojans can clinch the top spot in the Class C North playoffs with a win over Nokomis… There are five undefeated teams left in the state: Bonny Eagle (Class A), Edward Little (Class A), Marshwood (Class B), Wells (Class D), and Boothbay (Class E).

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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