WHEN: 7:06 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Alfond Stadium, University of Maine, Orono


REGULAR-SEASON MEETING: Cape Elizabeth won 35-15 on Sept. 22, in Cape Elizabeth

CAPE ELIZABETH: The Capers are looking to win their first football state championship in only their second appearance in a state final, having lost to Leavitt in 2009 in Class B. After graduating 18 players from their 2016 South regional runner-up squad, the Capers are again a strong defensive team, allowing 8.8 points per game, led by Luc Houle up front and linebackers Ryan Weare (team-high 92 tackles), Louis Daukas and Jacob Budischewsky, with Jacob Brydson directing the secondary. As the season has progressed, the offense has morphed into a power-running attack featuring Weare (1,331 yards, 16 TDs). But junior quarterback Andrew Hartel (61 of 112, 1,098 yards, 13 TDs), and receivers Brydson (17-232, 4 TDs) and Matt Conley (12-231, 3 TDs) have the ability to create big plays.

MAINE CENTRAL INSTITUTE: The Huskies are in their fourth straight state championship game. The previous three, including the school’s first state championship in 2016, were in Class D. MCI, the lone school to move up in class in 2017, started the season 2-3, including its loss at Cape Elizabeth in Week 4. Freshman quarterback Ryan Friend (64 of 129, 846 yards in the regular season) has improved, and the North’s No. 6 seed beat No. 3 Nokomis in the regional quarterfinals, then avenged regular-season losses against No. 2 Winslow and No. 1 Mt. Desert Island. Adam Bertrand, son of Coach Tom Bertrand, is the Huskies’ leading rusher (1,037 yards including playoffs) and a top defender. In the loss to Cape Elizabeth, MCI gained only 59 rushing yards (Bertrand had 54). Pedro Matos has since provided a second run option. David Young (30 catches in the regular season) is the top receiver. MCI has used fake punts and other gadget plays effectively.

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