WELLS — The No. 5 Wells Warriors football won in heroic fashion against Greely last week to advance in the Western Maine Class B playoffs, but now they face the No. 1 Marshwood Hawks in South Berwick Friday.

In the regular season, both teams met in Wells where the Warriors beat up on Marshwood for a lopsided victory of 36-6. This was Marshwood’s only loss on the season. Now the home field has shifted to Marshwood, and the Hawks have rolled over opponents since then. Last week they had a convincing playoff victory against No. 8 Cape Elizabeth 27-7.

“It’s always hard to beat a team twice in football,” said Wells head coach Tim Roche. “They’re going to be better this time around, but then again we’re a better team, too.”

Wells and Marshwood had six common opponents during the regular season. They both faced Cape Elizabeth, Westbrook, Spruce Mountain, Mountain Valley, Lake Region and York. Marshwood holds the common opponent advantage winning all six games as Wells dropped two, Westbrook (28-20) and York (19-14). The Warriors do hold a slight advantage by scoring more points against all six opponents (182-175) and giving up fewer points (61-69).

The matchup for Wells will feature a team in Marshwood that plays a similar style on both offense and defense. The only variation on offense being Marshwood’s many formation format it uses to confuse defenses. The Hawks will rely heavily on the ground game by using misdirection and traps along with a multitude of formations.

“They like to run the ball, but they do so in different formations. We just need to react to what they are doing on offense,” said Roche.

Wells will stick with its three-headed monster at running back in Jake Moody, Dante Fanning and Joey Spinelli. But the Warriors may think a little outside the box this week and go with what helped last week, passing the ball with quarterback Gavin Snapp. This week’s impact players though are the offensive line, that needs to get a good push up front on the Hawks defense, Roche said.

“Having the runners we do always helps,” said Roche. “But I think you will see us throw a little bit more. Our offensive line needs to have a big game, though, for us to be successful running.”

Defense has always been a Wells strong suit, and this week’s matchup of heavy run, looks to play into the Warriors’ hands. It will be up to the linebackers to fill the holes stuffing the run at the line. Fanning at linebacker needs to have a strong game again this week on defense, Roche said.

“Defensively we are going to play like we have all year. These guys know there jobs and just need to react,” said Roche.

For the Warriors to walk away with a victory, Roche said they need to establish the run early. Like last week’s matchup against Greely, Marshwood has a strong defense. If Wells can keep a healthy and fresh rotation of running backs, it can wear down the Hawks defense and create breakout plays, Roche said.

After last week’s kicking performance, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the warriors look for more points out of kicker Spinelli when on fourth down inside the Marshwood. He made it from 45 yards last week and Wells will be looking to put points up on every drive.

“I think having tough matchups the past two weeks has helped us,” Roche said. “We are already playing at a high level.” — Contact Nate Fowler at 282-1535, Ext. 323.



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