Marshwood High will win tonight’s Class B football championship game for three reasons.

1. The Hawks have stuffed every opponent’s running game. In two matchups with York, they turned Cullen McCarty into an afterthought. Brunswick (9-1) has two top-level backs in Will Bessey and Alex Bandouveres, so the challenge is greater, but unless quarterback Tom Hanson can loosen the defense, the Hawks will load the box. When that happens, linemen Nick Dalecki and Tyler Fife and mobile, physical linebackers Zach Mitchell, Brett Gerry and Zach Doyon will extinguish the Dragons’ fire.

2. Marshwood (11-0) will finally feed Gerry a full helping of carries. Gerry has rushed for 2,069 yards but hasn’t carried more than 18 times in a game. For the first 10 games the rationing made sense; Marshwood demolished its opponents by an average score of 55-7. In last week’s 14-13 escape against York for the Western Maine title, Gerry had 18 carries for 146 yards. This time, Coach Alex Rotsko will rely more on Gerry’s runs to set up outside sweeps for Jackson Howarth, Zach Doyon and quarterback Luc Blanchette. If Gerry is ripping off 10 or more yards every third carry as he was against York, then keep giving him the ball.

3. It is time for the Hawks to reclaim their perch atop Maine football. In the 1980s under Coach Rod Wotton, Marshwood was the gold standard. From 1981-89 they won seven state championships while moving from Class C to Class B to Class A. In 1987, their first year in Class B, they had the longest active winning streak in the nation before being upset by Wells in the playoffs. Twenty-five years later, it’s Marshwood’s time again.

The final: Marshwood 33, Brunswick 12.