Brunswick football players celebrate their after they sank Lawrence 42-14 in the 2019 Pine Tree Conference Class B title game at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Brunswick football coach Dan Cooper knows that often times his team brings out the best in its opponent.

After all, the Dragons are regular Pine Tree Conference Class B contenders.

“Teams always seem to have a little something extra when playing us,” said Cooper. “I don’t expect things to be different (on Saturday).”

Brunswick will travel to Windham for a 3 p.m. season-opening game Saturday. The game is a key early season test for both squads.

The Dragons return 16 seniors, several of whom played crucial roles in the 2019 season, which ended with a Class B title game appearance.

“I feel I have some of the best players in the conference with our senior group,” he said.

Windham went 4-4 in 2019 before bowing out to Skowhegan in the PTC B quarterfinals.

Windham quarterback Will Ledbetter throws a pass during a 2019 Pine Tree Conference Class B game against Lawrence at Keyes Field in Fairfield. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“We don’t want to live or die with one thing or another, we’re going to be balanced,” said Windham head coach Matt Perkins.

Here’s a closer look at the matchup:.

Where: Windham High School Field, Windham.

When: Saturday at 3 p.m.

Coach Cooper on Windham: We’re expecting a tough matchup, they have a good team and good players and are one of the favorites in the division. We want to make them defend the whole field like we normally do and hopefully can hold up on defense against their passing attack. They have a great quarterback and are big up front.

Coach Perkins on Brunswick: “We’re very concerned about limiting their passing attack, it can cause problems for any defense. We know we will have to weather the storm and limit their big play-ability. Their defense is solid and we know we’ll have to unload the book.”

Keys to the game: 
• The game is a matchup of two of the top quarterbacks in the conference — Wes Cooper of Brunswick and Will Ledbetter of Windham. The air attack will be potent on both sides, but each team has a ground game that can turn any game upside down. Brunswick’s backfield trio of Dalton Cooper, Sam Cassidy and Jacob Musica could pose a challenge to Windham. Tate Chork of Windham will get several carries and could make a big difference in the outcome.

• Both defenses will come out firing and be psychical, meaning this could turn into an old-fashioned grind-it-out type of affair. Both teams will attack the quarterback with Declan Lay and Colby Nadeau for Brunswick and Dylan Mathieson and Jason Scott for Windham. With those four on the field, offensive lines could have a tough afternoon. The pass rush and run-stopping abilities of both squads mean that execution will be key, and one play could decide the outcome of this one.

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