Maine’s indoor football team plays its first game in franchise history Saturday in Worcester, Mass.

Four months after he first arrived in Portland to tout a new professional indoor football team, Jonathan Bane is ready to lead the Maine Mammoths into their inaugural National Arena League season.

“We’re really looking forward to getting out there and putting our product out on the field,” said Bane, 26, who will start at quarterback for the Mammoths on Saturday night against the Massachusetts Pirates at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Rapper Kid Ink will perform at halftime.

“Everyone has been so positive and welcoming,” Bane said of his two-plus weeks in Portland for preseason camp. “People in town are acknowledging us. They all seem to be pretty juiced up for the opportunity to watch.”

The Mammoths and Pirates are both expansion franchises in the year-old NAL, whose schedule runs from April to August. The NAL stretches from Maine to Florida and includes six teams, half of them holdovers from the inaugural 2017 season.

Bane, who played collegiately at Dakota Wesleyan, is a fifth-year pro on a team with a lot of rookies.

“But we also have a core of veterans,” Bane said. “The rookies are learning fast.”

Indoor football is played in arenas with hockey rinks using padded boards, a shortened field and eight players per side. The offense consists of a quarterback, a fullback, three interior linemen and three wide receivers.

In addition to Bane, Maine’s offensive starters are likely to be Kyle Powell (6-4, 330) at center, Kyle Avaloy (6-5, 330) and Jarius Spain (6-4, 315) at guard, Patrick Carney (6-2, 300) at fullback and Edgar Poe Jr. (6-5, 220), Devin Wilson (6-3, 205) and Maurice Dupree (5-10, 200) at wide receiver.

Brandon Rutherford, who played for the now-defunct Monterrey (Mexico) Steel in last summer’s first NAL season, will handle kicking duties.

“We look really good,” Bane said. “Coach did a really good job of putting together a nice roster for us. We seem to be getting better every day.”

Coach James Fuller, entering his 20th season of indoor football, assembled the roster. He said he feels confident about the Mammoths in their debut.

“My biggest worry is how they’ll react, as a young team never playing in an arena football game before,” Fuller said. “But they’re coming along well.”

Fuller has until an hour before kickoff to set his 21-man roster. Before doing so, he plans to check out the Massachusetts defensive backs, presumably to see whether any mismatches can be exploited.

None of the local players from last month’s open tryout in Topsham made the roster, but Fuller said he remains in contact with some of them and likely will bring in a few for practice next week, leading up to the Mammoths’ home debut April 14 at Cross Insurance Arena against another expansion team, the Carolina Cobras.

Playing fellow expansion teams the first two weeks makes for a challenging scouting report.

“It’s tough,” Fuller said. “You’ve got to find their coordinators and see what kind of work they did with previous teams. Like I told the players, we’re flying blind here, but the team that makes adjustments will be better off.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

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Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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