By Adam Robinson, Bangor Daily News Staff After six weeks of high school football in Maine, teams are starting to better understand where they rank in the Crabtree standings and what they’ll have to do in the final weeks to earn a playoff spot. Starting spring 2021, all sports had “open tournaments,” which allowed all teams to make the playoffs in Maine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Adam Robinson, Bangor Daily News Staff
After six weeks of high school football in Maine, teams are starting to better understand where they rank in the Crabtree standings and what they’ll have to do in the final weeks to earn a playoff spot.
Starting spring 2021, all sports had “open tournaments,” which allowed all teams to make the playoffs in Maine during the COVID-19 pandemic. This fall, the Maine Principals’ Association has reverted back to the two-thirds of teams making the playoffs system that was in place before the pandemic.
With a cut off point being placed in each class and region in high school football this fall, teams are now jockeying for position atop the Crabtree standings.
In Class B North, where just eight teams make the playoffs, Brewer is clinging to the eighth spot in the standings after a 30-7 loss to Falmouth at home on Friday night.
While a win against the Navigators would have helped substantially, the Witches finish the season with Messalonskee and Brunswick, the ninth and tenth seeds in Class B North, respectively.
“I liked how our guys fought,” Brewer coach Scott Flagg said after the loss to Falmouth. “We had a lot of guys filling in in different positions and offensive line depth is hard to make at this level. We just need to turn the page and get ready for next week’s game.”
Hermon (4-2) sits near the top of Class C North in second place behind only Oceanside, separated by just 1.4 Crabtree points.
The Hawks took down Class D Oak Hill 18-0 on Friday night at home, putting together a two-game winning streak for the first time all season.
“We run the ball a lot,” Hermon coach Kyle Gallant said. “We have a stud running back in Gary Glidden, but our quarterback, Johnny Kokoska, finally found his feet. He ran for 100 yards against Oak Hill and that’s something that we’ve been trying to harp on him to do.”
Near the bottom-half of the C North standings sits Old Town (1-5). The Coyotes earned their first win on Friday against Madison, 42-30. The win put them into eighth place in the Crabtree standings.
After losing many players throughout the season to suspension and injury, according to coach Charles Beale, on Friday the team was able to come together.
“Everyone was back and healthy and we were able to run the ball successfully for the first time. I think we averaged eight yards a carry,” Beale said. “A lot of things clicked and clicked off the field, too. They stopped thinking about individual glory and wanted to win for each other.”
Behind the big play of quarterback Jordan Kraft, who threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for a touchdown, and receiver Davon Austin, who caught eight balls for 160 yards, the Coyotes earned their first win of the year and now want more .
Old Town finishes the season with Belfast (0-6), who is ninth in C North, and Hampden Academy (1-5), the sixth-place team in the conference.
“Obviously, going winless was hard for everyone,” Beale added. “We play a lot of freshmen and sophomores so we have a lot of guys that haven’t experienced a win before… It was a surreal feeling and for my first win at Old Town it was really nice. We’re satisfied but in Class C, eight teams make the playoffs and right now we’re eighth. They’re still hungry to kind of make the playoffs and win a few more games at the end here and I think that’s pretty possible for us.”
Hampden Academy has lost three in a row, most recently taking a 67-6 loss to Foxcroft Academy of Class D. The Broncos finish the season with John Bapst and Old Town to try and stay in the playoff bracket.
Class D is starting to take shape as Foxcroft Academy (4-1) heads the class ahead of Freeport (4-2) and Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale (3-2).
John Bapst (3-2) is in sixth place, the final playoff spot, with Hampden, Nokomis and a tough battle with Freeport to end the regular season.
In eight-player football, the small school North conference is coming down to the wire. Eight-player teams have just one more game left in the regular season and teams are battling for positioning.
Dexter (6-0) earned a big win over Stearns (5-1), 54-14, and the Tigers look like the team that won the small-school state title a year ago.
Orono (3-3) defeated Madawaska (0-6) 62-6 and finds itself in the fifth spot in the conference.