The regular season is at the halfway point, so it seems like an appropriate time to begin sizing up candidates for the Fitzpatrick Trophy, the award given to Maine’s top senior football player.

Here’s my take on the top candidates in southern Maine:

 Class A South: Quarterback Michael Laverriere is Thornton Academy’s leading rusher (634 yards on 67 rushes, 10 touchdowns) and has completed more than 50 percent of his passes (22 of 42, 394 yards, three TDs). Also a defensive back, he is the clear leader for a 4-0 team looking to win its third straight Class A title. Laverriere has established himself as the Fitzy front-runner.

 Class A North: How about Issiah Bachelder, the quarterback for Portland High? He wouldn’t have been a preseason pick for the Fitzy – even on his own team, but Bachelder has completed 34 of 56 passes (61 percent) for 610 yards and seven TDs. He’s also rushed for four scores and has managed the offense effectively despite a revolving door at running back. The Bulldogs have established themselves as the division’s top team.

 Class B South: Running backs Brady Crepeau of Biddeford (560 yards, 6 TDs) and Miece Loureiro of Westbrook (505 yards, 3 TDs) are in the Fitzy conversation. Crepeau is a power runner with enough quickness and speed to slip a tackle and go for large chunks. He has become the focal point on offense for the Tigers (4-0). Loureiro is an impressive all-purpose back who finishes runs with authority. He’s a good receiver (11 catches, 178 yards), hits hard on defense (36 tackles) and can punt, too.

 Class B North: Brunswick is the division’s best team. But unlike past years – Will Bessey was a finalist last year – the Dragons don’t have one standout Fitzy candidate. Instead, Coach Dan Cooper has many options, including senior backs Jesse Devereaux, Ben Palizay and Hunter Garrett. That probably makes the team stronger, but it’s hard for any one player to emerge.


 Class C South: Despite limited carries, Wells fullback Evan Whitten has topped 100 yards rushing in four straight games for the Warriors (4-0).

THORNTON ACADEMY will be without its top receiver, Johnny Rosario, for Friday’s game at Scarborough (3-1). Rosario was ejected from a 17-13 win against Windham, following a Thornton punt with 8:21 to play in fourth quarter. By rule, any player or coach ejected from a game is ineligible to participate in the next game.

Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal would not comment on Rosario’s ejection, talking instead about the challenges Scarborough poses.

“Scarborough looks very good on film,” Kezal said. “They’re big and they’re athletic. Offensively, they present a lot of challenges. The (Owen) Garrard kid is a really good back. (Aren) Dickman is a tough inside runner. Their quarterback (Zoltan Panyi) is a dual threat. They’re solid in the kicking game, and absolutely it’s going to be a tough one.”

PORTLAND EXPECTS to be without running back/linebacker/punter Nick Archambault for the rest of the season. He tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee during a game two weeks ago at Windham.

The Bulldogs’ game against Cheverus (3-1) on Saturday has been moved back five hours to 5:30 p.m. to accommodate players taking SAT tests in the morning. It also has been from moved Cheverus’ natural-grass field, which does not have lights, to Deering High’s field, an artificial surface with lights. Portland plays its home games on artificial turf at Fitzpatrick Stadium. And Cheverus loses homefield advantage.


“You still have to play the game,” Portland Coach Jim Hartman cautioned. “These are high school kids.”

The Bulldogs finish with home games against Lewiston (1-3) and Bangor (0-4) and the Battle of the Bridge at South Portland (1-3).

CAPE ELIZABETH (4-0) has allowed 24 points, the fewest of any team in the state. “Years ago we prided ourselves on our defense, and for a couple years that kind of lapsed a little bit. We’re kind of resurrecting that,” said Coach Aaron Filieo.

Filieo cited linebackers Ryan Weare, a junior three-year starter, and Max Wood, who missed the 2015 season because of an injury.

Senior defensive back/receiver Ben Ekedahl sat out last week’s 42-6 win against Freeport, “more as a precaution,” because of a minor injury, Filieo said. Ekedahl is expected to play Friday at Mountain Valley.

NOTES: Spruce Mountain Coach Walter Polky resigned Tuesday. Spruce Mountain is 2-2 in Class C South and coming off a 51-6 win against Gray-New Gloucester. Assistant coach David Frey will be the interim coach. Kenneth Healey, the superintendent of RSU 73, said he accepted Polky’s verbal resignation but would not comment on why Polky resigned, saying, “anything that has to do with employment is confidential.” Polky, who does not work in the school district, had been the Spruce Mountain coach since 2012. His teams were 24-17. … So much for Brunswick being tested last Friday at Messalonskee. The Dragons’ speed – particularly in the form of Hunter Garrett (265 yards) – overwhelmed the Eagles in a 42-0 win. Brunswick is at Skowhegan (3-1) this week. The Indians can score but have also allowed 24.5 points per game. … Oak Hill now has the state’s longest active winning streak at 24 games. Winslow’s 25-game winning streak was snapped by Madison/Carrabec last week.

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