There’s a logjam of teams tied at 2-2 in the Campbell Conference Class D. None of the league’s eight teams reached the halfway point of the season below .500, and six of them share that 2-2 record. That will change this weekend, and the game between Oak Hill and Madison will be one of the reasons why.

Madison’s two wins came in non-conference games on the road against Class C North opponents Waterville and Belfast. The Bulldogs’ two losses were to Wells and Lisbon, the teams sitting at the top of the conference, both undefeated heading into their game against each other.

Oak Hill also has a lopsided loss to Wells. The Raiders other three games, wins over Yarmouth and Mountain Valley and a loss to Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, were decided by a combined seven points.

Here’s a closer look at the Oak Hill-Madison matchup:

When: 7 tonight

Where: Rudman Field, Madison

Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette on Madison: “The quarterback (Eric Wescott) is a returning starter. He was a tailback last year. He’s a playmaker. They’re a scrappy team. I’m very impressed with their will to win.”

Madison coach Scott Franzose on Oak Hill: “They have a very athletic quarterback (Gavin Rawstron). They present a lot for defensive game planners. They have a lot of skill. They can control the ball and maintain drives, or they can play wide open.”

Oak Hill running back Caleb Treadwell tries to fight through a tackle during a Class D South game last weekend in Wales.

Three keys for Oak Hill:

• Establish the run.

The Raiders are young, particularly in the offensive backfield. Rawstron at quarterback, and running backs Sam Lindsay and Quentin Pelkey are gaining experience and confidence. If Oak Hill’s backs can get going behind a deep offensive line, the Raiders can grind out long drives.

“I think we’re improving in every game,” Doucette said. “We play a lot of young kids. We have offensive line depth. We play a lot of kids there.”

• Match Madison’s intensity.

The Bulldogs are coming off a trip to the conference championship game. Two seasons ago, they reached the second round of the Class C North playoffs. A lot of the Bulldogs are accustomed to playing big games. It’s been a few seasons since Oak Hill won three consecutive state titles. The Raiders need to find that institutional memory and match Madison play for play.

• Remember what you practiced.

“Games aren’t won on Friday night. They’re won Monday through Thursday,” Doucette said.

In that, Doucette means pay attention to the details covered in practice. The Raiders need to reduce mistakes, and that begins with that focus.

Three keys for Madison:

• Contain Rawstron.

While a sophomore, Rawstron is no stranger to varsity football, starting as a freshman. Rawstron is a versatile athlete who can throw or run, and the Bulldogs need to account for him on every snap.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re sound down the line of scrimmage,” Franzose said.

• Be ready for anything.

Franzose said it himself, Oak Hill is comfortable running a number of offensive sets. The Bulldogs can’t go into the game expecting one thing or another. They’re likely going to see a mix, and have to be able to defend the entire field.

• Consistency.

At times, Madison has looked like the team that won nine games last season. Other times, the Bulldogs have struggled to stay out of their own way. Franzose said he needs to see younger players becoming more comfortable on the varsity field.

“One of the things I’m liking more and more is guys stepping up. We have young guys really stepping into roles and giving us depth in our rotations,” Franzose said. “Consistency is a word we’ve used a lot this year.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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