Mt. Blue’s Zach Delano (34) blocks Lawrence’s Paul Southwick during a Pine Tree Conference Class B game Friday night at Caldwell Field in Farmington.

AUGUSTA — Cony indeed has a quarterback, Mt. Blue is better — way better, actually — then most anticipated, a blackout couldn’t slow Gardiner and a two-time defending state champ struggled mightily in a much-anticipated season opener.

These are just a handful of takeaways from an entertaining Friday night on the gridiron, when an abundance of teams across the state opened the 2018 campaign.

Let’s recap:

CONY 42, MESSALONSKEE 0: It’s been a few seasons since the Rams opened without an experienced quarterback. Coach B.L. Lippert was non-committal (publicly, anyway) on who would take the snaps against Messalonskee on Alumni Field on opening night.

The secret is out now.

As debuts go, Riley Geyer couldn’t have asked for much more. The sophomore signal caller completed 13 of his 14 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score. Receivers Mike Wozniak (four catches, 91 yards) and Reed Hopkins (three catches, 38 yards and a touchdown) also had big nights for the Rams, who put this one away early and quickly.


Geyer and the Rams passed their first test, but things are about to get a lot tougher.

Next up for Cony is a trip to re-opened and new-look Waterhouse Field in Biddeford for a Friday night crossover game against the Tigers.

MT. BLUE 34, LAWRENCE 13: Admit it, who saw this coming? The Cougars, a season removed from just one victory — one! — rolled right through a Lawrence squad that some expected would contend for the Pine Tree Conference Class B title.

And maybe the Bulldogs will, but there’s no denying they have a lot of work to do after getting humbled at Caldwell Field.

Turnovers, penalties, a key injury (RB/LB Logan Fortin) and an ejection (RB Isaiah Schooler) made for a forgettable night for Lawrence, which played in the PTC B title game last fall.

Meanwhile, the Cougars did what successful teams do: Take advantage of opponent’s mistakes. Mt. Blue jumped out to a 28-0 lead on the strength of fullback Randy Barker, who scored four touchdowns and rushed for a game-high 146 yards.


Afterward, a teary eyed Barker said of the victory: “I don’t know what it means to the team, but it means the world to me.”

GARDINER 34, MORSE 7: Not the Shipbuilders or a power outage at McMann Field in Bath could slow the Tigers on this night.

Coaches in any sport often preach about the importance of overcoming adversity, especially the unforeseen.

Moments after Gardiner took a 13-7 lead over Morse —a team it eliminated from the C South playoffs last season — the lights went out at McMann Field.

The game was delayed for about 20 minutes, but when play resumed the Tigers sustained, extended even, its early momentum. A 67-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Blaise Tripp provided more than enough of a spark for Gardiner, which will host Winslow in an intriguing game Friday night at Hoch Field.

LEAVITT 28, MCI 0: The two-time defending state champ Huskies started off slow last season, losing three of their first five games, but then put it together late en route to a Class C state title run. So, naturally, no one should read too much into this Friday night flop in Turner.

The Hornets got the early jump it so desperately craved, scoring touchdowns on its first two drives. MCI never recovered and ultimately were over-matched at Libby Field.

So are the Hornets just this good, or are the Huskies taking a big step back after consecutive title-winning seasons?

Time will tell.

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