Windham’s Max Arbour grabs a reception while Skowhegan’s Adam Savage makes the tackle during a game earlier this season. Windham is unbeaten (6-0) and the No. 1 seed in the Class B North tournament. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Of course, the Windham High School football team would’ve preferred to play its regular season finale at Sanford last week. But the cancellation of the game because of COVID-19 protocols surrounding Sanford could end up benefiting the Eagles as they enter the Class B North playoffs.

Windham, 6-0, is the top seed in the Class B North tournament, and is set to host No. 8 Mt. Blue (1-5) at 7 p.m. Friday.

The cancellation of last week’s game gave Windham a chance to rest some players nursing minor injuries, said Coach Matt Perkins. The Eagles spent practice time focused on improvement, breaking down film to find times when they made mistakes during games, and going over it so they’re ready when those situations arise again.

“We reflected on what we don’t do well. We spent some time getting back to basics, which you can’t always do when you’re getting ready for an opponent,” Perkins said. “We did some situational analysis. ‘Did we miss a block here? Did we run the wrong route?’ We broke into small groups and looked at the little things.”

Windham led Class B North in points per game (37.5) and fewest points allowed (6.7). The Eagles did not face Mt. Blue in the regular season.

The two games Windham missed in the regular season, each because of COVID-19 issues, served as a reminder every team could use, Perkins said.

“Enjoy the practice and enjoy the preparation it takes each week to get to play these games. Don’t take anything for granted,” Perkins said.

MEDOMAK VALLEY TOOK another step forward its program’s development this season, finishing the regular season 6-2 to earn the top seed in the Class C North playoffs. A win Saturday over Nokomis (1-6) would be the first playoff victory in Medomak Valley’s short, six-season history.

Medomak enters the playoffs on a five-game winning streak. Its last loss was a 16-8 defeat at Class B Falmouth/Greely on Sept. 18, a game scheduled at the last minute to replace a game lost when Old Town, the Panthers’ scheduled opponent, could not play because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

“After losing to Fryeburg (38-0) to open the season, we reassessed and went back to our run game. We gained some confidence, and even losing to Falmouth in a close game, our confidence grew from that, too,” said Medomak Coach Ryan Snell.

The Panthers are finding a way to win close games. Four of Medomak’s six wins were by 13 points or fewer. Grinding out long scoring drives with a strong, steady running attack also helps the Panthers to keep opposing offenses off the field. The duo of Hayden Staples and Levi Ward have been key runners for the team. In the regular-season finale, a 20-7 win over rival Oceanside, the pair combined for 47 carries for 297 yards and a touchdown each.

Snell said his roster has 45 players, with many players alumni of the youth football program that began years ago as a feeder to the high school team.

“We have a small senior class, so we’re in good shape numbers-wise for the next couple of seasons, at least,” Snell said.

EACH OF THE Class B South quarterfinal games this weekend is a rematch of a lopsided regular-season contest.

No. 1 Portland (8-0) defeated No. 8 Biddeford (1-7), 55-8, on Oct. 8. No. 2 Kennebunk (6-2) beat No. 7 Massabesic (2-6), 48-7, on Oct. 15. No. 3 Marshwood (5-3) took a 48-21 win over No. 6 Gorham (3-5) on Sept. 17. No. 5 South Portland (4-4) beat No. 4 Noble (6-2), 30-14, Oct. 1.

Each of the three Class C South quarterfinal games is also a rematch of a regular-season game, although for the most part a rematch of a closer contest. No. 4 York (4-3) faces rival Wells (4-4), the five seed, for the second week in a row after taking a 35-28 win over the Warriors last week. No. 3 Fryeburg (5-3) defeated No. 6 Gardiner (3-5), 24-6, on Oct. 2. No. 2 Cape Elizabeth (6-1) hosts No. 7 Westbrook, a week after the Capers beat the Blue Blazes 58-16. No. 1 Leavitt (6-0) earned a bye into the semifinals.

WHILE THE CLASS B and C playoffs begin this weekend, and Classes A and D start next week, the two eight-man football divisions are on to the regional semifinals this weekend.

In the Large School South division, No. 1 Cheverus (5-0) gets the game against No. 4 Lake Region (3-4) it expected on Sept. 18. That day, the teams had each gone through pregame warmups and were ready for the coin toss when late positive COVID-19 tests on the Lake Region team prompted a last-minute cancellation. In the other Large School South semifinal, No. 2 Mt. Ararat (6-1) hosts No. 3 Spruce Mountain. Mt. Ararat, which won the first eight-man football state title in 2019, defeated Spruce Mountain 42-12 on Sept. 3.


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