Nikolas Nikitin-Gruntfest of Lisbon (52) and teammate Owen Smith look to tackle Tony Casale of Freeport (21) during a football game Sept. 25 at Lisbon High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

While the eight-man postseason begins this weekend, Class D still has two more weeks remaining on the regular-season schedule.

With playoff seeding on the line, the 1-3 Lisbon Greyhounds know how important each game is heading down the stretch.

“I think we’ve really improved each week,” said Lisbon head coach Chris Kates, whose team earned a 37-13 win over John Bapst last Saturday in Bangor. “Obviously you start to feel a lot better about yourself after a win.”

The Greyhounds have been hurt all season by turnovers but were able to put it all together on Saturday.

“We know we have to keep it up if we want to be successful,” Kates said. “We need to control the ball and sustain our drives. We turned that around (on Saturday) and we hope to keep that up.”

Freeport running back Jordan Knighton looks to turn the ball up field during an Oct. 11 football game against Bucksport in Bucksport. Photo provided by Mike Mandell

The bottom half of the Class D standings are cluttered, meaning there’s an opportunity for the Greyhounds to jump up in the standings. Sitting at No. 7, the Greyhounds face 2-3 Bucksport on Saturday at 1:30 P.M. at Thompson Field at Lisbon High School. The Golden Bucks currently sit at No. 5 in the standings.

“They have solid skill players and quality lineman that will present us with some challenges,” Kates said. “I look at them a lot like I do with us. They’ve been in every game they’ve lost, their record doesn’t show how good they are.”

While some solid play on the line was a key for Lisbon last week, it will be of the utmost importance once again in a matchup against a physical Bucksport team. Jaxon Gross and Ty Gibberson will get carries out of the backfield, while quarterback Ayden Maguire makes plays with his arm and his legs. Lisbon will look to match the toughness with Colby Levasseur at running back and Jimmy Fitzsimmons under center.

The top eight teams in the Class D regular-season standings qualify for the postseason.

Elsewhere, Freeport is gearing up for its second consecutive game on a Monday. The Falcons (4-2) sit at No. 4 in the Class D standings and will host No. 3 Oak Hill (4-1) in a game that could go a long way in deciding the final standings.

“It was surreal, we had never experienced anything like that before,” said Freeport head coach Paul St. Pierre in regards to last weeks’ game against Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale.

St. Pierre was referring to the power outage that occurred last Friday in Winthrop due to a car accident on Route 202.

“Luckily we still got to play,” he said. “I just hope everyone involved in the accident was alright.”

Lisbon players celebrate with Colby Levasseur (11) after he scored a touchdown during a Sept. 25 game between Freeport and Lisbon at Lisbon High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

Originally scheduled for this Friday, Oak Hill was forced to push the game back to Monday due to COVID-19 issues within the team. The game is now scheduled for a 6 P.M. kickoff at Samuelson Track & Field in Freeport.

Coming off a 40-14 loss to the Ramblers, the Falcons will look to bounce back in a big way over the Raiders. Oak Hill didn’t play last week on its scheduled bye.

The game will be a ground game battle, as both teams like to run in bunches. Tony Casale, Jordan Knighton, and Nick White will get most of the work for Freeport, with quarterback Aidan Heath mixing in a designed run here and there. Caden Thompson, who is just as good on defense as he is on offense, and Tiger Hopkins will get carries for the Raiders. Jackson Arbour is at quarterback.

While it may be on a different day than usual, this one could be one of the better games in Class D all season.

“We’ve been trained to expect the unexpected and adjust,” said St. Pierre. “We’re prepared to handle the adversity and we’ll be ready to go.”

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