While some high school football teams fought their way back into conference contention, others missed out on chances to separate at the top Friday night.

Here are some takeaways from Week 3:

SKOWHEGAN 14, CONY 13: When you have a quarterback as potent as Marcus Christopher, your offense gets the attention. And rightfully so.

In a Pine Tree Conference showdown that could loom large at season’s end, however, Skowhegan’s defense proved it’s more than capable of winning a game as well.

Cony’s defense was brilliant all night, keeping Christopher and the Indians offense in check, but Skowhegan’s defense held serve, not allowing any points after the first series of the third quarter and then stifling the Rams’ rally after a late go-ahead score. The Indians were stingy in the red zone and won the line of scrimmage as the night went on, consistently chasing quarterback Riley Geyer from the pocket on dropback after dropback.

With Skowhegan backed into a corner in the second half, the Indians’ defense came up big.

• Cony’s defense is as good as advertised. The offense still has some work to do.

The Rams’ defense lived up to its growing billing Friday night, pressuring Christopher all night, forcing him to settle for short passes and only allowing scores on short fields after a fumble and a blocked punt.

The offense, however, isn’t yet the groomed operation it appeared to be in a 42-0 opening win over Messalonskee. Cony does still have two inexperienced quarterbacks, and a group of receivers and running backs adjusting to bigger roles. The season’s still young, but the Cony offense needs to grow a little more.

YORK 34, GARDINER 13: With starters back at each level of a defense that brought the Tigers to last year’s Class C South final, Gardiner appeared to have the makings of another elite unit coming into this season. It’s been shaky going for the Tigers, however, who surrendered 30 points or more for the second straight game — and this time to a backup quarterback in York’s Teagen Hynes.

The Tigers’ defense needs to hit another gear, and it can start with the passing game, as Hynes burned the Tigers for 198 yards after Winslow’s Colby Pomeroy got them for 108 yards on only seven attempts.

• Cony and Gardiner missed chances to jump at the front of their conference races. After 2-0 starts, both teams appeared to have another gear on their opponents. Now 2-1, the Rams and Tigers are right back in the middle of the race for home field.

MT. BLUE 44, HAMPDEN 28: Mt. Blue is now more than a feel-good improvement story. The Cougars could be one of the PTC’s most dangerous teams.

The reason is Randy Barker, who ran for 271 yards and five touchdowns in Friday’s win over Hampden. The running game is king in high school football, and if you have a dynamic back, you’re a tough matchup for anyone, and a contender in any conference.

WELLS 36, WINTHROP/MONMOUTH 18: There are such things as moral victories. Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale just had one.

The Ramblers couldn’t have expected to beat Wells, the clear power of the class, but keeping things close against the Warriors is a great sign going forward. The Ramblers should feel better about their chances of being a Class D South contender than they did before Friday night.

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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