Lawrence quarterback Michael Hamlin is pressured by Skowhegan’s Kyle LePage during a game last September in Fairfield. The two schools have played eight football games over the past five seasons, each winning four times. They’ll meet again on Oct. 6 at Skowhegan High. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

There will be more than 300 high school football games played in Maine this fall. You can’t possibly see them all, so we’re here to offer some help.

Here’s a week-by-week list of games that should have some mojo to them. In compiling the list, we followed two rules. One, just one game per week. Two, don’t use the same team twice. It would be easy to list Thornton Academy, Oxford Hills or Leavitt multiple times. What’s the fun in that?

Sept. 1: Portland at Thornton Academy. Portland isn’t just jumping back into Class A. The Bulldogs are getting thrown into the deep end. Thornton Academy has played in seven of the last 10 Class A state championship games, winning the Gold Ball five times. There hasn’t been a Class A state final without the Trojans since 2017. The Bulldogs, who played in the Class B championship game last season, are eager for the challenge.

“We’re really excited. It’s a great way to open the season,” said Sean Green, Portland’s first-year head coach after coaching Cape Elizabeth to the Class C state title in 2021. “(Thornton is) kind of the poster child of Class A.”

Sept. 8: Bishop Guertin at Scarborough. Last season, there were five games between Maine Class A schools and opponents from New Hampshire, with the Granite State taking the series, 3-2. This fall, there are seven interstate games, again all involving Class A schools. The cross-border battles begin in Week 2 with this game, as well as Sanford hosting Dover, New Hampshire.

Last season, Scarborough didn’t get a New Hampshire opponent. This year, they face Bishop Guertin, a team from Nashua that went 8-3 last season in New Hampshire’s Division I, the equivalent of Maine’s Class A.


Sept. 16: Morse at Waterville. The eight-man Large School North division has the makings of one of the most competitive in the state. This is a fantastic early matchup between two of the top contenders. Waterville has won the region each of the last two years and defeated Morse in the semifinals last season. Waterville Coach Isaac LeBlanc knows his team will be circled on many opponents’ schedules.

“We expect to get everyone’s best and will need to be ready every single week,” LeBlanc said.

Sept. 23: Oxford Hills at Leavitt. This might be the most anticipated game of the season. It’s not often you get a matchup of two defending state champions. It’s also not often you get a Class C team (Leavitt) willing to play a Class A juggernaut (Oxford Hills).

But Leavitt took on Class A Lewiston and Class B Lawrence and Portland last season and won each game by at least two touchdowns. The Hornets are willing to play anybody. You get the sense that Coach Mike Hathaway would take on the University of Georgia if he and Kirby Smart could agree on a place and time.

“A lot of people would’ve like to see us and (Oxford Hills) play last year, and now with the schedule a little more open, it can happen,” Hathaway said.

Sept. 29: Massabesic at Marshwood. Last season’s Class B South winner, Portland, is now in Class A. So is last season’s runner-up, South Portland. Somebody else will come out of this competitive region, and it could be one of these two teams. Massabesic is looking to continue its upward trajectory, while Marshwood, winner of six state titles between 2014 and 2021, is looking to rebound after a 2-6 campaign.


Oct. 6: Lawrence at Skowhegan. Quietly, this has become one of the best rivalries in the state. Lawrence and Skowhegan have played each other eight times over the last five seasons, including three playoff games. They each won four of those games, and the winning team scored at least 23 points in each game. The River Hawks graduated a lot of key players from the team that won the Class B state championship last season, but this will be one of the highlights on the Pine Tree Conference schedule.

Oct. 13: Brunswick at Yarmouth. Another intriguing eight-man football game. Yarmouth is the defending Large School state champ. Brunswick is playing in the eight-man division for the first time, after struggling to an 0-8 record last season. Brunswick’s coach is Mark Renna, who was an assistant at Yarmouth under Jim Hartman the last three years.

Oct. 20: Gardiner at Cony. This is one of the longest-running rivalries in the country and will mark the 145th meeting between these teams. Cony took last season’s game, 27-12, and leads the all-time series, 76-58-10.

The trophy in this game is a cowboy boot. The better to kick your vanquished opponent with, perhaps.

Oct. 27: Windham at Bonny Eagle. Only Class A is playing in the regular season in Week 9, while the rest of the 11-man leagues will begin the playoffs. Windham is back in Class A after a successful run in Class B, in which the Eagles reached the state title game in 2021.

Bonny Eagle has been one of the state’s premier programs for the better part of two decades. At this point in the season, there’s no doubt the Scots will be playing for playoff position.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.