Lawrence fullback Alex Higgins hauls in a pass as Mt. Blue defender Zack Delano gives chase during a Pine Tree Conference Class B quarterfinal round game last month at Keyes Field in Fairfield.

When Lawrence and Brunswick meet for the Pine Tree Conference Class B championship Friday night in Brunswick, the game adds a chapter to what has become one of the conference’s top playoff rivalries.

Friday’s game is the fifth playoff matchup between the Bulldogs and Dragons in 10 seasons. Brunswick is 3-1 in the previous four games, including wins at Lawrence’s Keyes Field in 2009 and 2010.

In 2009, the Dragons took a 27-14 win at Lawrence in the conference semifinals. The next season, the teams met in the quarterfinals, with No. 8 Brunswick upsetting undefeated top seed Lawrence, 14-13.

These teams didn’t face each other in the playoffs again until the conference championship game in 2014. That game, Brunswick won 48-19 to earn its first PTC title in 10 seasons.

Last season, Lawrence beat Brunswick, 17-12, in the conference semifinals at Keyes Field. For the Bulldogs, this is the second consecutive season in the conference championship game. Brunswick, which won the league for three straight season from 2014 through 2016, is trying to make it to the Class B state championship game for the fourth time in five years.

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Oak Hill has looked right at home in crunch time, reaching the Class D South final on the strength of two overtime victories.

Surely, the key is something Stacen Doucette has said to his team, right? According to the Raiders coach, however, it’s been the other way around.

“I was a little fired up, and just trying to give them a bunch of things to know and remember,” Doucette said, “and one of the seniors said ‘Coach, don’t worry about us. We’re going to win the game.’ ”

That was Friday night, in the D South semifinals. No. 7 Oak Hill beat No. 6 Madison 34-33, one week after upsetting No. 2 Lisbon in overtime, 6-0.

Doucette said a combination of the regular season, which featured four games decided by three points or fewer, and the nature of the Raiders’ practices has prepared the players for pressure situations.

“It’s not our first time. If you go back and look at our scores throughout the year, we fell on the short end of those high-pressure situations at the beginning of the year,” he said. “It seems like now, we’re seeming to handle that situation. We’re not young anymore.”

Smart decisions help, too. Quarterback Gavin Rawstron scored the go-ahead touchdown Friday night, but Madison’s Josh Savage answered with a touchdown, and the Bulldogs went for a two-point conversion and the win.

It didn’t work. Eric Wescott slipped in the mud and was stopped short, playing to an advantage Doucette hoped would hold up.

“We lost the toss and we chose the sloppy end of the field for that reason, to hopefully slow them down,” he said. “At the end of the day, it did.”

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No matter which team wins the Class C North championship game Saturday afternoon at Hampden Academy, history will be made.

Neither No. 4 Nokomis (6-4) nor No. 2 Hermon (9-1) have ever played in the conference championship game. Nokomis made the playoffs for the first time in its dozen-year history last season, losing to eventual state champion Maine Central Institute in the regional quarterfinals. Hermon, which became a varsity football program in 2011, also bowed out the playoffs in the regional quarterfinals last season, losing to Oceanside.

Either Hermon or Nokomis will become the fourth different team in as many years to win Class C North. MCI won the league last season in its first year in Class C after winning the Class D state title in 2016. Mt. Desert Island won the conference in 2016, and Winslow won the third of its three straight Class C North titles in 2015.

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Gardiner’s season came to a finish with a 26-7 loss to Fryeburg, and for coach Joe White, it was hard not to think about what might have been.

“We call it the ‘three Is’ of high school football. Injuries, illness and ineligibility,” he said. “That interferes with trying to put together a gameplan. Some years are like that, and this year was like that.”

The Tigers started hot at 3-1, but began losing players and could never get back to full strength. Injuries took a toll, none looming larger than ones to quarterback Sean Michaud and receiver and cornerback Matt Boynton that robbed Gardiner of its offensive versatility.

“It was just an adverse time, losing key players early on when things were shaping up to be somewhat promising,” said White, whose team was trying to return to the C South final. “I think, realistically, we talked positively about finishing strong, but at the same time, it was a little different dynamic, this year’s team versus last year’s team.”

Still, Gardiner found itself down only 12-7 at halftime to Fryeburg before the Raiders pulled ahead, and White sounded optimistic about the future.

“We’ve got a lot of guys coming back,” he said. “You’ve got to find new life, but I’ve got kids asking me today when I’m going to open the weight room.”

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Around the state: Three of the four 2017 state champions will play in regional championship games. Scarborough (Class A), Marshwood (Class B) and Wells (Class D) are still alive. Only Class C MCI is out, with Friday’s 13-0 loss to Nokomis… Due to concerns with field conditions are Marshwood, the Hawks Class B South semifinal game against Falmouth was played in Portsmouth, N.H., on an artificial turf field. The 603 area code didn’t slow down Marshwood, which took a 49-24 win… The Class E Developmental League championship game will be this weekend between Dirigo and Freeport, two newcomers to the league this season.

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