There was some confusion in Windham when the 2019 football realignment plan was released. Players and parents saw the Eagles in Class B North and some wondered if it was a mistake. Coach Matt Perkins explained the new alignment, and told his players and their families about some of the fields they’d visit.

At the top of his list, Perkins mentioned Lawrence High School’s Keyes Field. The fans will be right on top of you, Perkins told his players, and they can expect a big crowd.

“The setting is awesome. It’s just a neat setting. Keyes Field is Americana,” Perkins said.

Windham (3-3) gets its chance to experience that environment Friday night, facing Lawrence (5-1) in a Pine Tree Conference Class B game with playoff position at stake. Lawrence sits in third place in the conference, while Winthrop is tied for fourth with Falmouth/Greely.

Lawrence and Windham haven’t played each other since 2004, when they were rival in the Pine Tree Conference’s Class A division. When Perkins was a high school player at Messalonskee, Lawrence coach John Hersom was an assistant coach with the Eagles.

Here’s a look at the Windham-Lawrence matchup:

When: 7 tonight

Where: Keyes Field, Fairfield

Three keys for Windham:

  • Learning curve.

Windham has five seniors on the roster, and that leaves it dependent of underclassmen learning to play varsity football against a tough conference schedule.

“We’ve had a lot of on-the-job training,” Perkins said. “We start a lot of young kids. The kids have worked really hard. They have a great work ethic.”

  • Mix it up.

When the Eagles have been successful this season, they’ve gotten a number of players involved in the offense. Backs like Matty Babb, Ben Elliott, Harrison Boyle, and Derek Palow each need to get touches.

“We feel like we’ve got a lot of guys at the skill positions,” Perkins said.

  • Match the toughness.

Perkins knows Lawrence will be one of the most physical opponents his team faces this season. The Eagles are going to need to match that intensity.

“They’ve got some tough kids,” Perkins said of the Bulldogs.

Three keys for Lawrence.

  • Continue improving.

Lawrence’s 50-21 loss to Brunswick on September 27 was a setback, but not a major one. The Bulldogs learned from the game and moved forward. In each of the last two games since, Lawrence won handily, outscoring Messalonskee and Brewer by a combined score of 123-28.

“I think we’ve responded well the last couple of weeks. We kind of hope for, as any coach does, and we’re seeing progress. We’re getting better,” Hersom said.

  • Take your shots downfield.

Everything the Bulldogs do offensively starts with the run, but that doesn’t mean Lawrence can’t or won’t throw. Quarterback Dylan Coombs has a good connection with receivers like Zach Nickerson and tight end Nic Blaisdell.

“(Coombs) throws the ball far and well,” Perkins said.

• A test of Wills.

Windham quarterback, sophomore Will Ledbetter, has a strong arm, and with a number of talented skill players surrounding him, he can be a dangerous weapon for the Eagles. If Lawrence can get pressure on Ledbetter, the field shrinks, and that benefits the Bulldogs.

“They do present quite a bit with their offense. They spread the ball around pretty well,” Hersom said. “They force you to cover all parts of the field. In their run game, the line blocks pretty well.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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