“It’s going to be a heck of a game.”

Thornton Academy Coach Kevin Kezal was talking about his unbeaten team facing defending Class A champ Scarborough in Saturday’s South regional final – but Kezal’s sentiment applies across the state.

It’s regional final weekend and the schedule has power-packed rematches, and just enough upstart underdogs to add some intrigue.

Here’s a brief look at games involving southern Maine teams. Weather has caused game time and location changes. Check the Press Herald’s website for the latest logistics.

Class A South

No. 2 Scarborough (7-1) at No. 1 Thornton Academy (9-0)


In Thornton’s 35-13 win in Week 6, Scarborough’s potent running game was held to 92 yards with only two runs going for 10 or more yards. That stat line will need to improve for the Red Storm to make it three straight years of beating Thornton in the playoffs after losing the regular-season meeting.

Class A North

No. 2 Oxford Hills (7-2) at No. 1 Portland (8-1)

In Portland’s 17-14 regular-season win in South Paris, two things stood out: Zack Elowitch was able to pound away for 169 yards on 34 time-consuming carries, and the Bulldogs’ defense limited quarterback Colton Carson’s ability to run (14 yards) and pass (4 of 17, two interceptions). Portland is built to win with power football and if it’s raining Friday night at Fitzpatrick, that’s Bulldogs weather.

Class B South

No. 2 Marshwood (9-1) at No. 1 Kennebunk (10-0)


After Kennebunk beat the Hawks 17-14 in South Berwick on Ryan Conners’ last-second field goal, snapping a 19-game Marshwood win streak, Rams three-year quarterback Tripp Bush said, “Big win but we know we’re probably going to have to see them again.” This regional final seemed destined from the start of the season. Now it’s time to learn whether Coach Joe Rafferty gets a shot at a second state title in his 40th season or if the Hawks fly to their fifth title-game appearance in Coach Alex Rotsko’s seventh season.

Class B North

No. 4 Lawrence (6-4) at No. 3 Brunswick (7-3)

This is the only regional final without a No. 1 or 2 seed. The Dragons hung 55 points and had three 100-yard rushers – Cam Hathaway (153), Donald Bromiley (152), and quarterback Nate Girardin (109) – in a Week 6 win in Fairfield. Since then the Bulldogs have won four straight, including rushing for 368 yards in a 41-8 thumping of No. 1 Skowhegan in the semifinal.

Class C South

No. 2 Fryeburg (9-1) at No. 1 Leavitt (9-1)


This game features two of the top defenses in the state. Leavitt’s points-against average is fractionally better but Fryeburg has won nine straight games – including beating the Hornets 13-0 in Turner – and haven’t allowed more than one score in any of those games. Fryeburg is in its first regional final.

Class D South

No. 7 Oak Hill (5-5) at No. 1 Wells (10-0)

Oak Hill has already posted two overtime upsets but a third against the Warriors would seem too much to ask. Wells has won 26 straight games. Teams have made futile attempts to stop Wells standout Tyler Bridge – who has scored 36 touchdowns and rushed for 2,011 yards. All that seems to do is open space for other backs like Peyton McKay (TD runs of 47, 27, 44 and 46 in the semifinal win against Winthrop).

Class E

No. 2 Dirigo (8-1) at Freeport (8-1)


The second championship in the MPA’s developmental league is likely to be the last if eight-man football is approved as expected. Both teams used the one-year way station to revitalize their program. Freeport had dropped from Class C and Dirigo was in Class D. Freeport won the regular-season meeting 34-14 behind a four-TD effort by Adam Ulrickson.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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