Brunswick’s Mitch Lienert rushes for a touchdown at Lawrence High earlier this season. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

BRUNSWICK — Now that the leaves are basically all gone, the air is cooler and Maine is set to see some snowflakes, November is the time for high school football playoffs. The Class B, C, D and Large 8-man divisions kickoff for their second round of postseason play tonight and Saturday with four area teams hitting the gridiron.

Brunswick (9-0), Mt. Ararat (7-2), Freeport (7-1) and Lisbon/St, Dom’s (5-3) are all in action with the hopes of playing at least another week of football.

Class B North — Brunswick earned the top spot in the South, steamrolling through it’s schedule, outscoring its opponents by a margin of 422-110, including a 47-0 shutout of Brewer in the quarterfinals. The Dragons eclipsed the 50-point mark three times, never allowing more than 21 points in a single game.

“We are blessed to have a gifted combination of speed, skill and power with our skill players and lineman,” Brunswick coach Dan Cooper said. “We have been able to score in a lot of different ways be it run or pass. If teams load up to stop our run we feel we have the skill and speed to pass it and have been able to do just that when we’ve wanted to.”

The Dragons have many offensive weapons — Owen Richardson (RB), Matt Lienert (RB), Cam Hathaway (RB/WR) and Noah Goddard (QB), all whom also contribute on the defensive side as well to just name a few.

But speed really does solve a lot of problems and we have been able to lean on that when the going has been rough.

After falling to Marshwood in the State A Final a year ago, the Dragons are poised to learn from those mistakes and hope to land back in the title game.

First, the Dragons will host No. 5 Skowhegan (5-4) tonight at 7 p.m. Brunswick defeated their guests, 48-7 on Sept. 7 to open the season. The winner of this game will face the winner of No. 7 Mt. Blue (who upset No. 1 Cony last weekend) and No. 3 Lawrence.

Freeport’s Adam Ulrickson (22) eyes the goal line as the senior scores a 17-yd touchdown just 30-seconds into the game against Lake Region at Joan Benoit Track and Field in Freeport. The Falcons beat the Lakers, 38-8. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

“The kids have been told and understand that they are a much better team than the first game and capable of beating us if we do not play well,” Cooper added.

Class C South — Freeport enjoyed success last year, winning the State Class E title after playing in the newly created division. The Falcons returned to Class C this season, with nearly an entire roster returning and strong program numbers that are only growing.

“We rolled over a lot of valuable experience from last season. It starts with the players. We returned close to the entire squad from last season. We built on the offensive and defensive schemes we established last year with them,” Freeport coach Paul St. Pierre said. “The coaches had a very good understanding of the talent and how to use it. We established a solid foundation of routines and practices to prepare us for each game individually and the long term grind of the season.”

Led by their talented offensive line, the Falcons will attack the Hornets with their skilled players — Anthony Panciocco (QB), Adam Ulrickson (RB), Tre Morris (Returner/RB) and Caden Benedict (FB) to mention a few.

With an odd amount of teams in C, coupled with Dirigo cancelling its season after it began, the Falcons only played six regular season games. A 5-1 record earned them a spot as the No. 5 seed against their only loss, Cape Elizabeth on Oct. 4. Freeport avenged its one-point loss (21-20) with a thrilling 42-41 double overtime win.

Now the Falcons have the task of traveling to Turner tonight to take on No. 1 Leavitt at 7 p.m. The Hornets are 9-0, with wins that included — Cape Elizabeth, York and an impressive 22-8 victory over Wells, ending the Warriors 33-game win streak. Although they did not face each other this season, St. Pierre knows very well what Leavitt is all about.

“It starts with their culture. Their coach runs a great summer 7v7 league that we participate in,” St. Pierre said. “It has helped their team establish a winning culture where they’re able to improve their talent individually and sustain a solid roster with depth. They take pride in being a member of their schools football program.

“We’re beginning to establish the same culture and it’s why we’re playing them this Friday in the Class C South Semifinals.”

Seth Leeman, center, of Lisbon High School attempts to break up a pass intended for Beau Schmelzer, right, of Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dalel during the Ramblers’ first drive of a game in Lisbon in September. Schmelzer made the catch. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Class D South — Lisbon/St. Dom’s, a perennial participant in postseason play, enjoyed a bye this past week after earning the No. 2 slot after defeating Oak Hill on Oct. 26 (16-13) in the final game of the regular season.

On Saturday, the Greyhounds will host the No. 3 Raiders, 41-8 winners over Madison/Carrabec in a quarterfinal tilt, with the game slated for 12:30 p.m. Oak Hill upset Lisbon in last year’s quarterfinal with a wet 6-0 win on the road.

Seeing his opponent only three weeks ago, Lisbon coach Chris Kates feels his team is prepared, it’s a matter of execution.

“The biggest thing for us is making sure that we’re sound with our defensive reads and communicate well on the field,” Kates said. “They throw a lot of looks at a team so it’s been imperative for us to break it down into more manageable chunks and allow our kids to play fast.”

After having the week off, Kates and company are ready for the rematch with the Raiders, this time at home on Thompson Field.

“The bye week allowed us to pay a little more attention to areas that often get neglected over the course of a typical week. We were also able to heal up from some of the bumps and bruises that build up over the season,” Kates added.

Eight-Man Large  — Also tonight, Mt. Ararat will play in the eight-man large final when it travels to Readfield for the second time in four weeks, to play the Black Bears for the third time this season.

Maranacook has had the Eagles number both games — winning 38-18 in Topsham on Sept. 14, and 34-24 on Oct. 18 in Readfield. The winner will advance to play the eight-man small winner between Boothbay and Old Orchard Beach, in the first-ever Maine State Eight-Man Football Championship on Nov. 16 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

“The biggest point myself and the other coaches have been making this week is, the past is the past,” Mt. Ararat coach Frank True said on Thursday. “We know what they like to do and they know what we like to do. This time It will be about execution. We need to minimize our mistakes and make every play count. We will bring our intensity level up and maintain it for the four quarters.”

Winning its first playoff game in program history a week ago, excitement and confidence is running high for True’s squad.

Maranacook’s Garit Laliberte throws the ball before Mt. Ararat’s Daniel Jackson could reach him during the second quarter of a high school football game at the Topsham Fairgrounds. The pass was a 65-yard touchdown pass to Isac Philbrook.  (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

“This certainly has been a special year so far and we’re hoping to build from it.,” True said. “You can feel the excitement and energy not only from our fans and parents, but the whole MTA community past and present. The players and the coaches are going to give it everything we can to get the excitement going and make our MTA family proud.”

Brunswick’s Mitch Lienert tries to push through Windham players toward the goal line in a game at Brunswick earlier this season. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

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