The Skowhegan Area High School football team spent its bye week working on the basics as it waited to see who its opponent will be in the Pine Tree Conference Class B semifinals.

“We spent a lot of time doing fundamentals stuff,” coach Ryan Libby said.

The top seed in the region, Skowhegan (5-3) ended the regular season as the highest scoring team in Class B, averaging just over 41 points per game. Statewide, only Bonny Eagle (49 ppg) and Scarborough (48 ppg) scored more than the Indians. The bye week was an opportunity to look at the defense, which allowed 37 points per game, the most of any playoff team in the state, regardless of class.

Skowhegan’s opponent Friday is No. 5 Brewer, which held on to beat No. 4 Messalonskee, 29-28. Brewer and Skowhegan didn’t meet in the regular season, but this game is a rematch of one of the better playoff games in recent years. In 2015, Brewer beat Skowhegan, 16-15, in a regional semifinal. Trailing by seven points in the fourth quarter, the Witches went on a 19-play, 57-yard scoring drive, securing the game-winning touchdown and 2-point conversion with 11 seconds left. Brewer’s winning drive chewed nearly eight minutes off the clock.

“I think we’ll be pretty jacked to see (Brewer) this week,” Libby said.

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Madison hosts Winthrop/Monmouth in a Class D South semifinal Friday. The Bulldogs beat the Ramblers 47-8 on Sept. 15. Madison coach Scott Franzose doesn’t have to dig deep to remind his team about being ready for any opponent in the playoffs. Last year in the regular season, Madison beat Winslow, only to lose the playoff rematch.

“I’m pretty sure that’s something I’ll remind them of all week,” Franzose said. “The biggest thing is, we have to be mentally prepared. Those little things really matter.”

When Madison beat Winthrop/Monmouth in Week 3, the Ramblers were battling injuries. Now a healthier team, Winthrop/Monmouth comes to Madison with four wins in its last five games, including Saturday’s 28-13 quarterfinal win at No. 3 Lisbon.

“This is a much different Winthrop team,” Franzose said.

Madison is coming off a 49-14 win over Dirigo in the quarterfinals. While this is the Bulldogs second straight season reaching the regional semis, the win over the Cougars was Madison’s first playoff victory in the four straight years the team has reached the postseason. Last season, Madison had a bye to the semifinals as the two seed in Class C North. Having coached his team through a bye week and a quarterfinal week, Franzose comes down strongly on the side of playing.

“If anybody asks me, this is where I stand, I like to continue playing football,” Franzose said. “We finally got that playoff win.”


• • •

Winslow coach Mike Siviski said the status of senior running back/defensive end Ryan Fredette for a Class C North semifinal game Saturday against Maine Central Institute is uncertain, but the Black Raiders are preparing as if Fredette will be unable to play. Fredette sprained his ankle early in Saturday’s 49-13 quarterfinal win over Waterville.

“We’re not expecting Fredette to play, but that’s up in the air,” Siviski said.

Winslow and MCI played just two weeks ago in the regular season finale, with Winslow taking a 32-29 win in Pittsfield.

“We just had a heck of a game two weeks ago (against MCI). We’ll be challenged,” Siviski said.

Following his team’s 33-24 win at Nokomis on Saturday, Huskies head coach Tom Bertrand said he was excited for the rematch against the Black Raiders.


“We’re not going to do anything different at this point. We’re going to line up, play football, and see if we can’t fix some mistakes we made against them. They’re a real good football team and we’re going to have to have our best game of the season. We’re ready for it,” Bertrand said.

• • •

Brunswick and Lawrence have played some close playoff games against each other over the years. If their regular season meeting, a 23-20 Lawrence win on Oct. 6 is an indication, Friday’s PTC B semifinal should be another dandy.

This is the fourth playoff game between Brunswick and Lawrence since 2009. Each of the previous three, including two at Lawrence’s Keyes Field, were won by Brunswick. The Bulldogs and Dragons most recently met in the 2014 conference championship game, with Brunswick taking a 48-19 win.

• • •

Around the state: The regional quarterfinals were good to lower seeded teams. In 24 games across the state, seven lower seeded teams won. While none of the seven or eight seeds advanced to the regional semifinals, three fives (Sanford, Brewer, and Oceanside) won, as did four six seeds (Portland, Brunswick, MCI, and Winthrop/Monmouth)… Mountain Valley’s 26-6 win over Spruce Mountain in the Class D South quarterfinals was the Falcons first playoff win since 2011… Oceanside’s Michael Norton, Jr. scored five rushing touchdowns in a 40-33 win over Hermon. Norton and the Mariners play at Mt. Desert Island in a rematch of a Class C North semifinal game from last season.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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