Kennebunk and defending state champion Marshwood have met the lofty expectations. Now the 7-0 teams meet at 6 p.m. Friday in South Berwick with the top seed in the Class B South football playoffs at stake.

Both teams are loaded with playmakers, led by dual-threat senior quarterbacks – three-year starter Tripp Bush at Kennebunk and Tommy Springer at Marshwood. Both teams have inside and outside run threats, and big-play passing games.

“I think offensively we are very similar,” said Marshwood Coach Alex Rotsko.

The teams have split eight meetings since 2013 although Kennebunk has a 2-1 advantage in the playoffs. Against all other opponents in that span, Marshwood is 49-5 and Kennebunk is 41-10, with six of those losses coming in 2014.

The teams have become each other’s measuring stick.

“It’s not something we discuss or think about daily but inside their own head, I’m sure a lot of the kids have been looking forward to this game,” said Kennebunk Coach Joe Rafferty.

Kennebunk is averaging 49.6 points per game, Marshwood 43.6. Both teams have had one game with fewer than 40 points.

“I can’t picture us scoring 40 points against them and I’m sure they feel the same way,” Rotsko said. “I think last year and the two games the year before were all close, low-scoring games.”

Marshwood won 15-12 in 2017. Kennebunk won both 2016 meetings, 27-22, then 13-7 in a regional semifinal.

THE TOP four Class A South teams are still in the hunt for a first-round bye – and each likely needs to win to get a week of rest.

No. 2 Bonny Eagle (5-2) is at No. 4 Scarborough (5-1) on Friday night. No. 3 Sanford (5-2) is at No. 1 Thornton (7-0) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Muddling the Heal point standings more than normal is the Sept. 28 cancellation of the Massabesic at Scarborough game because Massabesic had an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease. As of now, both Massabesic and Scarborough’s Heal values are based on a seven-game schedule.

According to the Scarborough athletic department, if Scarborough feels the loss of the Massabesic game affects its standings, it can appeal to the Maine Principals’ Association to make a decision.

Sanford has shown resilience to get to this point. The Spartans started the season with losses to Scarborough and Bonny Eagle. In the opener, three starters – RB/CB Jordan Giroux, RB/LB Ryley Bougie, and linebacker Ali Ibrahim – were injured in a matter of minutes and haven’t played since. Giroux (broken foot) and Bougie (broken leg) are cleared to play Saturday.

“It’s exciting to know that we’re playing a Week 8 game that could move us around in the standings. We should have a home game in the playoffs and maybe even a bye,” said Sanford Coach Mike Fallon. “We’ve strung together five pretty good games. At the same time we know we’re obviously going to be taking a dramatic step up against Thornton.”

THE WINNER of Friday’s Class B North matchup between No. 3 Cony (6-1) and No. 2 Brunswick (5-2) will overtake Skowhegan for the region’s top seed, said Brunswick Coach Dan Cooper. Skowhegan (4-3), which has beaten both Cony and Brunswick, will slip to No. 2 and the Cony-Brunswick loser will be third. The top two spots get a first-round bye.

Heading into Friday’s road game, Cony has allowed six points in the last three weeks.

“They’re defense is elite, really exceptional,” Cooper said. “We have a quite a rivalry with them. It’s going to be a head-knocker for the No. 1 seed, and hotly contested.”

STATE OF THE STATE: Week 7 had competitive signs. More than a quarter of the games (11 of 39) ended within a one-score margin (eight points or fewer), including Greely’s 22-14 overtime win against Gorham and Edward Little’s come-from-behind 21-20 win against South Portland. But in aggregate the week was all-too-familiar in a season marked by lopsided outcomes: eight shutouts, 17 games (43.6 percent) with a differential of 30 or more points, and an average victory margin of 24.9 points. That’s right on the seven-week average of 24.93.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig


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