September 5, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Week 1 at a glance

By Travis Lazarczyk
Staff Writer

and Bill Stewart
Staff Writer

Cony (0-0) at Messalonskee (0-0)
7 tonight
Where: Veterans Field, Oakland
Last season: Messalonskee 21, Cony 19
Key players: Cony — QB Ben Lucas, LB/T Nic Benner, WR Jonathan Saban, WR Tayler Carrier, RB/OLB Reid Shostak, C Isaac Gingras, WR Kevin Kingsbury, WR John Bennett, T Marshall McLaughlin.  Messalonskee — SE/ Devin Warren, QB/FS Jake Dexter, HB Corey McKenzie, FB Dylan Bragg, HB/LB Zach Mathieu, DB Jake Bernatchez, DT Bryce Garten, G Bobby Fenlason, TE/LB Robert Schlosser
Outlook: The Eagles have defeated the Rams in each of the last two regular season openers. The game is the Messalonskee coaching debut of Brad Bishop, who overhauled the offensive system this year. McKenzie was one of the top running backs in the PTC A last year and he’ll be a featured back again. Lucas is among the best in the state and he’ll lead a high-powered spread offense.

Gardiner (0-0) at Lawrence (0-0)
7 tonight
Where: Keyes Field, Fairfield
Last season: Did not play
Key players: Gardiner — T Andrew Doody-Veilleux, QB Matt McKenna, RB/DB Tyler Caron, RB Treavon Horton, LB Jeff Minchin, DE/TE Jake Truman, ILB Brad Weston. Lawrence — TE Seth Powers, TE/LB Chad Martin, QB/DE Jim Leathers, QB Cody Martin, FB Ethan Powers, WB/DE Beau Grenier, CB Trevor Lewis.
Outlook: Gardiner and Lawrence will renew their rivalry from the old Pine Tree Conference days. The Bulldogs are coming off an appearance in the Class A state title game and will feature a few new faces in key spots, having graduated 20 players. Leathers and Martin competed for the starting quarterback job during the preseason. The Tigers return just two starters — Doody-Veilleux and Weston — and are young across the board.

Hampden (0-0) at Mt. Blue (0-0)
7 tonight
Where: Mt. Blue High School, Farmington
Last season: Did not play
Key players: Hampden — QB Matt Martin, WR Dan Marquis, WR Austin Spencer, OL Cam Prescott, OL John Chen. Mt. Blue — G/LB Connor Farrington, UT/CB Cam Abbott, G/DE Tyler Sennick, TE/DE Dustin Richards, WR/FS Nate Backus.
Outlook: Mt. Blue opens defense of its Class B state title at its new field at the high school. While the Cougars graduated a lot of players, they have talented returnees at a few positions, including Abbott, who missed the second half of the 2012 season with a knee injury and can play either quarterback or receiver. Hampden is led by Martin, a strong passer. The Broncos have a new coach, former Husson University assistant Kevin Canty.

Mt. Ararat (0-0) at Skowhegan (0-0)
7 tonight
Where: Clark Field, Skowhegan
Last season: Skowhegan 38, Mt. Ararat 0
Key players: Mt. Ararat — TB/DB Jordan Castonguay, RB/LB Jack Mickels, T/DT James Stemp, QB/DB Dylan Johnson, OL/DL Connor Read. Skowhegan — QB/FS Adam Clukey, TE/LB D.J. Allen, G/LB Gus Benson, WR/CB Owen Mercier, RB/LB Kaleb Brown.
Outlook: Now in the second season running coach Matt Friedman’s spread offense, Skowhegan should be a little sharper. Clukey threw for more than 1,400 yards last season and has strong receivers in Allen, Mercier and Ben Salley. The Indians defensive strength is at linebacker. Mt. Ararat went 0-26 over the last three seasons. The Eagles hope a move to Western B will give them a chance to be competitive as a young team grows.

Madison (0-0) at Mt. Desert Island (0-0)
7 tonight
Where: Mt. Desert Island High School, Bar Harbor
Last season: Did not play
Key players: Madison — FB/LB Chris Hayden, QB Cody Soucier, TE/DE Levi Murray, T/DT Brendan Tolman, HB/LB Jordan Curtis. MDI — QB Jon Phelps, HB Teagan Candage, FB Sandy Henggeler, HB Tanner Bickford.
Outlook: Mt. Desert Island nearly pulled off the upset of the 2012 season, losing a tight game to eventual state champion Mt. Blue in the Eastern B quarterfinals. Now in Class C, the Trojans will use the same running attack to try to control the pace of games. Madison has some talented veterans in its pistol offense, including Murray, Soucier and Hayden, who moves from tight end to fullback.

Waterville at Camden Hills
1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Don Palmer Field, Rockport
Last season: Did not play
Key players: Waterville — QB/DB Aidan FitzGerald, UT/DB Brian Bellows, G/LB Luke Knight, WR/DE Troy Gurski, G/DL Duncan Works. Camden Hills — RB/LB Isaac Young, QB Nick Rozsahegyi, TE/DE Connor Graffam, T/DT Alex Switzer, G/LB Sean Mellon.
Outlook: With 16 seniors, Waterville is among the preseason favorites in Eastern Class C. FitzGerald and Bellows may split time at quarterback, while Knight, Works and Ben Cox return to the line. A Class B school, Camden Hills chose to play down a level as it builds its program. The Windjammers are ineligible for the playoffs, but Graffam could be one of the top tight ends in the league.

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