BANGOR — While one team looks to continue a longstanding tradition of gridiron championship excellence, another seeks to officially begin its own.

A gold ball will be on the line at Cameron Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2:30 p.m. as Medomak Valley of Waldoboro will face off against Leavitt of Turner with the state Class C football championship trophy in the balance.

The following is a synopsis of Saturday’s state Class C championship game between the Panthers and Hornets:

Who: North champion Medomak Valley (9-2) versus South titlist Leavitt of Turner (10-0)

Where: Cameron Stadium, Bangor, 2:30 p.m.

How they got here: Medomak Valley, the top seed in Class C North, beat No. 8 Belfast 51-0 in the quarterfinals, No. 5 Winslow 21-13 in the semifinals and No. 2 Hermon 40-20 in the championship game.

Leavitt, the top seed in Class C South, received a bye in the quarterfinals, beat No. 5 Cheverus of Portland 64-28 in the semifinals and No. 3 Cape Elizabeth 43-0 in the championship game.

Players to watch, Leavitt: Noah Carpenter (QB/SS), Dayton Calder (WR/CB), Brett Coburn (TE/DT), Jace Negley (T/DT), Sawyer Hathaway (WR/FS), Beau Mayo (G/LB), Mason Twitchell (G), Colten Taylor (LB), Will Keach (WR/LB), Maddox Demers (RB/LB), Nick Morin (WR/CB), Braxton Rowe (DB), Logan Levesque (C/DT), Parker Gilbert (T) and Nash Angstrom (DT).

Players to watch, Medomak Valley: Wyatt Simmons (QB), Hayden Staples (RB/LB), Porter Gahagan (FB/DT), Blake Morrison (WR), Gabe Lash (WR/S), Gatlin Bedenik (WR/S), Tucker Holgerson (TE/DE), Connor Light (LT), Marshall Addy (LG/DE), Isaac Simmons (C/LB), Sam Moody (RG), Nathan Gess (RT), Kaden Wright (DT), Xavier Woodbury (DT), Aaron Reed (LB), Ethan Wood (CB) and Chase Peaslee (CB).

Outlook: The Panthers, in their fifth year as a varsity program, vies for the first state football title in school history and have outscored opponents 193-95 in the regular season and 112-33 in three postseason games — 305-128 overall.

“Friday night was a great night for the kids, the community and the program,” said Medomak Valley coach Ryan Snell of the Panthers’ regional championship victory. “The crowd and the atmosphere were phenomenal. We treated it as a road game and asked people to show up in droves [and] they certainly answered the call. To have the chance to compete in a state game in our fifth year of playoff eligibility is something we’re very proud of and glad this group gets that chance.”

The Hornets, perennially state championship contenders, have been to seven state title games in school history with four victories, twice in Class B (1995 and 1998) and twice in Class C (2013 and 2019). The Hornets outscored opponents 321-88 in the regular season and 107-28 in two postseason contests — 428-116 overall.

“Our team is pretty balanced on offense,” said Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway, in his 21st year guiding the Hornets. “Our o[ffensive] line is athletic and has played very physical against some tough opponents [and] defensively we have a good unit.”

And, the Hornets have plenty of skill position players, led by Carpenter, who Snell and coach Hathaway said is possibly the best player in the state.

“He is the ultimate dual-threat at quarterback,” said coach Hathaway of Carpenter. “[He has] a cannon for an arm, accurate and a powerful runner who is good in the open field. [And] Dayton Calder is an electric player in the slot catching the ball and running jet sweep.”

“Their QB Carpenter is the best player we will see all year,” echoed Snell of the Hornet signal-caller. “He’s one of the top players in the state, regardless of class. Super strong arm, great runner.”

Coburn also is a strong blocker and pass catcher at tight end, Sawyer Hathaway led the team in touchdown catches at wide receiver (with Morin another deep target) and Keach and Demers tough runners between the tackles.

Defensively, the Hornets are keyed by Negley and Coburn up front, Demers, Keach, Mayo and Taylor at linebacker “and the secondary has some ballhawks,” coach Hathaway said.

“We have great players, but the key to us is the way these guys are able to focus during the week in meetings and practice to prepare for teams,” said coach Hathaway. “Then the way they execute and the intensity they do it with has really been unmatched all year. And we have played a really tough schedule. Cape [Elizabeth], Wells, York, Cheverus [of Portland] and Fryeburg [Academy] are really good teams with established coaches and programs. Nothing is free when you play those guys.”

Portland, which Leavitt defeated 42-8 this season, also will vie for the state Class B championship against Skowhegan on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

“They had what I thought was the toughest schedule in the state and made it look easy,” said Snell of Telstar.

Interestingly enough, one of Medomak Valley’s opponents from this season — Lisbon/St. Dominic — will vie for the state Class D championship against Foxcroft Academy in the 11 a.m. state title game, also at Cameron Stadium. The Panthers lost that game to Lisbon/St. Dominic 20-7 on Sept. 30 at Waldoboro.

Thornton Academy of Saco will face Oxford Hills in the state Class A game on Saturday at 11 a.m., also at Fitzpatrick Stadium, to round out the state championship slate.

The Panthers’ bread-and-butter this season has been the run game and likely will continue to keep the ball on the ground Saturday against the Hornets. Staples, a second team all-conference selection, rushed for 424 yards and seven touchdowns throughout Medomak Valley’s postseason run, while a host of other runners — such as Peaslee, Holgerson and Liam Wilson — also can tote the rock for the Panthers behind the line of Light (all-conference honorable mention), Addy (first-team all-conference), Isaac Simmons (first-team all-conference), Moody and Gess.

Wilson is one of two signal callers for Medomak Valley along with Wyatt Simmons. Both have seen plenty of success on the field for the Class C North champions.

“They have a good running back [Staples] and dominated the line of scrimmage versus Hermon in the regional final,” said coach Hathaway. “The quarterback is a capable thrower and has some good targets [Lash/Morrison]. We saw a lot of them this summer at Maine Elite camp at Cony and they came to one of our 7v7 days here at Leavitt. Defensively they are aggressive and run to the ball well as a unit. They have some pretty good players at every level.”

Snell has great respect for coach Hathaway, who “does a lot for football in the state of Maine and a lot for us coaches.”

“We also had a big group of kids [at] the Maine Elite passing camp this summer that coach Hathaway runs with a couple other coaches,” said Snell. “So he saw some of our guys there and they got a chance to work with him and learn some football stuff that has helped them this season.”

Coaches Hathaway and Snell know what their teams must do to walk off the field as champions on Saturday. Once kickoff is underway, it will come down to execution.

“We will need to defeat blocks, run to the ball and create some turnovers,” said coach Hathaway. “Getting off the field on third and fourth down will be huge. Offensively we need to execute our schemes and get our athletes in space where they can make plays. If we protect the QB well and can establish some run game early, that will help.”

“Ball control [will be key],” said Snell. “Can’t afford to lose the turnover battle. Just believe in each other and playing hard for each other all day like we did Friday night. Playing our game and taking care of us.”