Skowhegan’s Colby Miller (16) and Spencer Wyman, right, tackle Brunswick’s Cam Hathaway (2) on Friday in Skowhegan. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

While the Skowhegan Area High School football team won the Pine Tree Conference Class B title last season, defense was a struggle for the Indians throughout the season. To start this season, Skowhegan allowed 62 points to Kennebunk in an opening night loss, then long touchdown drives to Brunswick on the Dragons’ first two drives Friday night.

From there, though, Skowhegan’s defense was strong. After allowing 147 yards combined on those two first quarter scoring drives, Skowhegan surrendered just 172 yards the rest of the game. That allowed the offense to find its rhythm, and helped Skowhegan take a 29-26 win.

Three of Brunswick’s final six possessions went three and out. Two more stalled deep in Skowhegan territory, and the Dragons put together a 93-yard scoring drive late in the third quarter.

“Defensively I thought we played very well (Friday), considering where we came from last week. If we can keep that trend early in the season, we’re looking good,” Skowhegan coach Ryan Libby said.

Down 20-0 (Brunswick returned an interception for a touchdown, along with the two scoring drives) late in the first quarter, Skowhegan changed up its defensive alignment. Senior linebacker Hunter Washburn said the Indians went from their base 50 front to a more spread out 4-4, and that helped contain the Dragons runs to the outside. Libby said Skowhegan constantly changed up its defensive look over the final three quarters.

“We just kept mixing it up. We’d play games with our ends and our outside linebackers and try to switch responsibilities on them. Not do the same thing three or four times in a row to let them get in a groove,” Libby said.

While Brunswick is a strong running team, Skowhegan will get tested through the air Friday night at Cony.

• • •

An update on two injuries suffered in Saturday’s game between Madison and Waterville:

Hayden Nadeau, a freshman lineman from Madison, is resting after sustaining a lower back injury midway through the first quarter. Nadeau lay motionless on the field for several minutes, and was placed on a board and taken off the field on a stretcher by paramedics. Madison coach Scott Franzose said Nadeau temporarily lost feeling in his legs after getting hit in the lower back with a helmet, but was regaining feeling later Saturday afternoon.

“He was feeling much better and resting (Sunday),” Franzose said.

Waterville senior guard/linebacker John Evans suffered a broken ankle on a kick return late in the first quarter. A four-year starter for the Purple Panthers, Evans will be missed on both sides of the ball.

• • •

The annual Waterville vs. Winslow Battle of the Bridge game is set for 1 p.m., Saturday at Winslow’s Poulin Field. Both teams are 1-1 after losses this past weekend.

While Waterville leads the all-time series, 51-36 with four ties, Winslow has held the upper hand recently. The Black Raiders carry a seven-game win streak over the Purple Panthers into Saturday’s game. That win streak includes three playoff games, including a regional quarterfinal game last season.

Waterville’s last win in the series came in 2013, a 25-21 victory in the regular season finale.

• • •

A return to an old position for one of Madison’s leaders was a key to the Bulldogs dominating run game Saturday.

Senior Brad Peters moved from guard to running back in the preseason. On Saturday at Waterville, Peters was back on the offensive line. Madison ran for 387 yards on 33 carries, good for almost 12 yards per carry, and ran for five touchdowns. Both running back Josh Savage (167 yards) and quarterback Eric Wescott (133 yards) ran for more than 100 yards. Peters was originally moved to the backfield to help fill holes created by the graduation of all-conference players at running back, Sean Whalen, and quarterback, Evan Bess. With players like Savage progressing, Franzose decided Peters could best help the Bulldogs back on the line, where he played last season.

“Brad is a captain. He’s one of our most coachable kids. He’s there all summer. He’s engaged, and we’re really feeling out the backfield. Who’s going to fill those roles? We know we have Eric there, he was a big part of it last year, stepping in at quarterback,” Franzose said. “It wasn’t a demotion. It never is. It’s a promotion. Brad was one of those potential all-conference guys last year, and we’ve got some young guys working hard (on the line) that maybe aren’t there yet. We thought, we get Brad back there, we’ve got our two guards together with Lucas Murray, another great offensive lineman. Brad’s going to stay there.”

Madison plays its second consecutive crossover game against a Class C North opponent this week, traveling to Belfast.

• • •

Around the state: With Friday’s 14-0 win over Windham, Bangor snapped an 18-game losing streak. The Rams last win came in the first round of the 2015 Class A North playoffs, a 54-21 victory over Edward Little. Bangor tries to start a win streak Friday against Deering… For the second week in a row, the state had a 70-0 game. This time, it was Kennebunk over Mt. Ararat. In Week 1, Thornton Academy defeated Deering 70-0… At 2-0, Noble already has as many wins as it had in the last two seasons combined… With low participation numbers, Dirgio decided to play this season in the Class E developmental league. Two games into the season, the Cougars are 2-0, with wins over a pair of Class C teams, Old Town and Gray-New Gloucester.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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