The Eastern Class B football playoffs could be wide open, according to Brunswick Coach Dan Cooper.

“Certainly any of the top four teams could win it,” he said. “And when you come down to it, there’s not a lot of difference between one through six.”

Top-ranked Brunswick (7-1) and second-seeded Cony (6-2) have first-round byes.

Brunswick will play the winner of Friday night’s quarterfinal between No. 5 Mt. Blue and No. 4 Messalonskee, and Cooper remembers what happened when Brunswick and Messalonskee met Oct. 10.

“They’re the No. 4 seed and they beat us (20-7),” said Cooper. “I feel everyone has a great shot. We’re not head and shoulders above anyone else.”

Cony, the defending Class B state champion, awaits the winner of Friday night’s No. 6 Brewer at No. 3 Lawrence quarterfinal.

Brunswick has one of the state’s top running combinations in Alex Bandouveres and Will Bessey, who have combined this season for close to 2,000 yards rushing.

While the Dragons grind it out, Cony likes to pass. Mitchell Caron has picked up where Ben Lucas left off last season.

“He’s an outstanding passer but he also has been a good runner,” said Cooper.

Messalonskee has a game-breaker in quarterback Jake Dexter. Mt. Blue is led by Coach Jim Aylward, in his first season with the team after 25 years at Mountain Valley, where his teams won four Class B titles.

Lawrence has strong running backs and Brewer has played well lately.

The Western Class B playoffs aren’t as open. Marshwood (8-0) is the clear favorite after rolling up 431 points and allowing only 67.

The Hawks are the highest-scoring team in the state with 37 more points than Thornton Academy, which is second, and also the second-stingiest behind Oak Hill, which has allowed 58 points.

The closest game Marshwood has had was last week against York, which also was unbeaten. The Hawks won, 41-12.

Marshwood also beat Messalonskee 48-14 on Oct. 3. Messalonskee has a shot of winning Eastern Class B.

But these are still the playoffs and anything can happen, especially when the weather turns cold and the fields become slick.

Besides Marshwood, No. 3 Falmouth (7-1) enters as the hottest team in the region. The Yachtsmen have won five straight since losing to York 37-14 on Sept. 19. Falmouth, which beat No. 4 Greely 42-12 last week, didn’t play Marshwood this season.

nine Bangor High football players who were suspended for last week’s 18-0 loss to Oxford Hills had to meet four components to be reinstated.

Besides the one-game suspension, the players had to serve a one-day out-of-school suspension, a one-day in-school suspension and complete an education component.

The Rams will be home again Friday night in an Eastern Class A quarterfinal, again against Oxford Hills.

Besides the nine players, others whose involvement wasn’t determined until after last week’s game will be suspended this week and won’t be eligible for further extracurricular activities until fulfilling the discipline requirements.

“There will be some players who didn’t play last week but will be playing this week,” said Athletic Director Steve Vanidestine, “and there will be some players who played last week but won’t play this week. I’m fully confident we will have enough players to play the game.”

Vanidestine said he was concerned last week that Bangor might not have enough experienced players to make it a fair game, but his fears proved unfounded.

“The team played a very competitive game,” he said.