Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans Skowhegan’s Colby Miller (16) rushes past Lawrence’s Sumner Hubbard (57) back right, as teammate Paul Southwick (33) looks for the tackle last week in Fairfield. Both teams are battling for final playoff positioning this weekend.

The final week of the regular season is here, and a number of central Maine football teams are looking at playoff positioning. Here’s a breakdown, by conference, of some of the scenarios local teams face.

• PINE TREE CONFERENCE CLASS B: It appears the winner of the Cony at Brunswick game can earn the number one seed and home field throughout the regional playoffs. Both the Rams and Dragons are looking for that signature win, and this would be it.

Although Skowhegan likely lost the chance for the top seed with last week’s loss at Lawrence, the Indians can hold on to the two seed and a first round bye with a win over Mt. Blue. Early season wins over Cony and Brunswick continue to help Skowhegan in the Heal Point standings. One of those two will win Friday, and that will add to Skowhegan’s tournament index.

The loser of the Cony-Brunswick game is likely the three seed, and will host either Brewer (1-6) or Hampden (1-6) in the first round. Brewer can clinch the six seed with a win over the Broncos. Hampden’s one win came over winless Messalonskee, so the Broncos need a victory and help to jump into the sixth spot.

Lawrence’s win over Skowhegan propelled the Bulldogs into fourth place, and win over Messalonskee and a Skowhegan win over Mt. Blue keeps them there. A playoff rematch of the week one game between Lawrence and Mt. Blue (won by the Cougars, 34-13) seems inevitable. Whether the game is back in Farmington, or at Lawrence’s Keyes Field, remains to be seen.

• BIG 11 CONFERENCE: Defending Class C state champion Maine Central Institute (6-1) can wrap up the top seed with a win over Nokomis (4-3). Even an MCI loss coupled with a Hermon (6-1) win over Oceanside would likely keep the Huskies in the top spot, due to their win over Hermon a few weeks ago.

Winslow (4-3) appears locked into the three seed, with Nokomis fourth. Waterville (3-4) enters the week in the eighth and final playoff spot. The Purple Panthers can jump to sixth with a win over John Bapst (1-6), combined with an Oceanside loss to Hermon and a Belfast (2-5) loss to Mt. Desert Island (2-5). Waterville is less than a point behind both Belfast and Oceanside.

• LITTLE TEN CONFERENCE: Mount View secured a playoff spot with the four-game win streak that was snapped by Dexter on Saturday. The loss to Dexter means the Mustangs (4-3) will likely face the Tigers again in the regional quarterfinals. If Ellsworth (3-4) upsets Bucksport (6-1), Mount View could be bumped back to sixth place, win or lose at Washington Academy (3-4) Friday.

• CAMPBELL CONFERENCE CLASS D: After the top two spots, held by No. 1 Wells (7-0) and No. 2 Lisbon (6-1), the entire eight-team league is up for grabs. Five teams: Mountain Valley, Madison, Oak Hill, Spruce Mountain, and Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, are either 4-3 and 3-4. This league truly is coming down to the final week, and each game will impact the final standings.

• • •

Madison coach Scott Franzose said his team could finish anywhere from third to eighth place in the Class D South standings. Friday’s come-from-behind 28-22 win over Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale moved the Bulldogs into fourth place. But other than top-seed Wells and No. 2 Lisbon, no Class D South team has a firm grip on playoff position with one week left in the regular season.

That’s why Friday’s win was so important, Franzose said, adding the Bulldogs need to continue to focus on all the little things.

“I felt we played a very balanced second half. More emotional, team-oriented second half. Winthrop, unfortunately turned the ball over. Making those mistakes, we’ve been that team,” Franzose said. “You see it a lot. Mountain Valley’s been that team. It comes down to, more than ever, who’s going to show up and get it done that night… A lot of us know in this conference, it’s kind of touch and go. It really depends on a game here, a game there. We’re all battling for position.”

Madison’s opponent this Friday is Spruce Mountain. The Phoenix are coming off a 27-25 win over Oak Hill, and two weeks ago gave Wells its toughest game of the season thus far in a 26-20 loss to the undefeated Warriors.

“They are a very talented team. Watching them on film, they’re fundamental,” Franzose said of Spruce Mountain. “They play very good team defense. Tons of athletes in that system. With the (Jack) Bryant kid at quarterback now, they run veer or their triple (option) very well. They test you in space, so we’ve got to be on assignment. We’ve got to be tackling. It’s going to be one heck of a test.”

• • •

Nokomis has one of the toughest schedules in Class C North, with games against MCI, Hermon, and Winslow, the three teams ahead of the Warriors in the standings, as well as a crossover game against Class C South leader Leavitt. The Warriors tuned up for this week’s rivalry game at MCI with a 52-8 win over Class B Hermon. Coach Jake Rogers said it was his team’s most complete effort of the season so far.

“We talked about putting our foot on the gas and not letting up until we finished the job,” Rogers said. “They executed pretty much everything I asked them to do.”

The Warriors are currently in fourth place in the regional standings, and could jump to third with a win over the Huskies. Rogers said there’s also a scenario in which they could fall to fifth place, if a few things break wrong for the Warriors. The most likely scenario is, Nokomis hosts a first round playoff game for the second straight season.

“We are what we are,” Rogers said.

• • •

AROUND THE STATE: This week’s game of the year might actually be the game of the year. Marshwood and Kennebunk, the two 7-0 teams in Class B South, will meet at Marshwood with first place in the region at stake. Marshwood has been held under 40 points just once this season. Kennebunk has allowed more than 15 points just once, in a season-opening 62-19 win over Skowhegan… Playing in the Class E developmental league has been a boost for Freeport and Dirigo this season. Both teams are 6-1 and enjoying a resurgence. If participation numbers improve, either school would be a solid candidate to move back into its assigned class next season… Noble can make the case as the most improved team in the state this season. Coming off back-to-back one win seasons, the Knights are 5-2 entering this week’s Class B South regular season finale at Gorham. A win could earn Noble a home game in the first round of the playoffs.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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