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(Ed. Note: For the complete Deering-Bonny Eagle football story, with additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)
Colors are beginning to change and there is definitely a chill in the air as the calendar confirms that autumn is here.
What that means for athletes and teams from the city of Portland is that it’s time to get serious about a season that is roughly halfway over. Here’s a look at where things stand as we say farewell to a wonderful summer:
While Cheverus and Portland’s football teams were earning wins last week (please see stories), Deering wasn’t as fortunate, falling from the ranks of the unbeaten.
The Rams hosted powerhouse and recent nemesis Bonny Eagle last Thursday in the rain. The hosts got off to a great start when senior quarterback Jamie Ross (10-of-21, 155 yards, one TD) and classmate John Hardy (8 receptions, 138 yards) hooked up for a 48-yard pass play on the first snap from scrimmage. Three plays later, Ross found junior Renaldo Lowry for an 11-yard TD, but the Scots erupted for 28 second quarter points and shook off a second quarter Ross 1-yard TD run (he had 73 yards and a score on 15 carries) to pull away for a 35-12 victory.
Deering, which lost to Bonny Eagle for the eighth time in 10 meetings dating back to 2004, has a pivotal home test coming Friday night when defending Class A champion Windham (1-2) comes calling. With tests still remaining against the likes of Thornton Academy, South Portland and Cheverus, the Rams really need to defeat the Eagles, who they lost to, 35-19, on the road a year ago.
Rivalry games were the theme for city boys’ soccer squads last week.
Friday afternoon, Deering hosted Portland in a wild, entertaining affair. The Rams were coming off a scoreless tie at Westbrook, while the Bulldogs downed visiting Noble, 5-0, three days earlier (behind sophomore Tim Rovnak’s two tallies and a goal and three assists from senior standout Fazal Nabi).
In the showdown, Deering shocked Portland by grabbing an early 2-0 advantage behind goals from junior Edgar Gonzalez and senior star Charlie Dupee, but the Bulldogs got back in it on junior Brett O’Kelly’s goal late in the first half. They tied the score on a Rovnak goal early in the second half, then went up, 3-2, when Rovnak (from Nabi) scored with 12:20 to play. Five minutes later, Nabi converted a penalty kick and with 4:25 left, Nabi scored once more to give Portland a 5-2 victory.
“We talked at halftime about intensity and mistakes,” said Bulldogs coach Rocky Frenzilli. “Deering played well in the first half. They’re a tough team. Charlie did some nice things for them. In the second half, I was so pleased with the way we stepped it up. To come over here and come out with one feels good. I’m happy for the kids. For them, it’s about bragging rights.”
“Portland’s explosive,” said Deering coach Andy LeFebvre. “Certainly they have a lot of threats to score. They earned their goals. We had a bad hop and got a hand ball in the box. It was a one-goal game at that point. Not much we can do about that. We had a few chances, but we didn’t take advantage. A little luck and it could have been a better result. We’re definitely making progress. The kids are working hard. Eventually, we’ll catch the bounces the right way.”
Portland (3-1-1 and 10th in the Western A Heal Points as of Monday) was home against Sanford Tuesday and plays at Gorham Thursday.
“We’re taking it one game at a time,” Frenzilli. “You never know on any day.”
Deering (1-3-1 and 13th in the Heals) hosted Gorham (which recently became the first SMAA team to beat Scarborough in five years, snapping the two-time Class A state champion Red Storm’s 40-match win streak in the process) Tuesday and goes to Noble Thursday.
“Gorham’s on a high,” said LeFebvre. “We need a positive result to get some points from them.”
Cheverus is also 3-1-1 (good for fourth in the latest Heals) after a 4-1 home win over Biddeford and a 0-0 tie at Bonny Eagle last week. Against the Tigers, senior Ryan Ward scored the decisive goal. Juniors Sean Barry, Elliot Maker and Nick Melville also tickled the twine. In the tie, junior Alexander Hoglund had a goal waved off, while senior goalkeeper Peter Pothoff made some clutch saves.
The Stags were back in action Tuesday at home versus Noble and go to Scarborough Thursday.
In Western C, Waynflete is 3-0 (and sixth in the region) after avenging its lone regular season loss from a year ago. Last Tuesday, the Flyers blanked visiting Sacopee, 2-0, behind two goals from senior Omar Abdille. Thursday, they turned their attention to visiting North Yarmouth Academy, which won, 1-0, at Waynflete last October.
This time around, the Flyers jumped right on the Panthers, taking a 1-0 advantage in the 10th minute when Abdille scored. Nine minutes later, senior Tucker Geoffroy made a nice move on a defender and beat the NYA goalie for a second tally and Waynflete’s defense held up the rest of the way for a 2-0 win.
“I think a few kids were thinking about last year’s loss, but more than that, we wanted to finish off a good start,” said Flyers coach Brandon Salway. “Early success has been our recipe so far with Omar and Tucker scoring a goal or two each. Defensively, I think we were really solid (Junior) Daniel Wiener moved back and did a nice job. We dodged a couple bullets. (NYA is) a good team. We held serve here. They’ll be waiting for us there (Oct. 2). We’re getting there. We still have quite a few things we need to work on. This was a great week. Beating two conference teams. This will go a long way for us.”
Waynflete is at Sacopee Wednesday and visits Traip Friday.
On the girls’ side, Waynflete also hosted NYA Thursday in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal round playoff match (won by the Flyers, 2-1). Waynflete, playing its first game in eight days, got the better of the Panthers again this time, 4-1, behind two goals from promising freshman Ella Millard and one each from senior Lydia Stegemann and junior Becky Smith.
“We came out ready to go and moved the ball around and got up early,” said Flyers coach Todd Dominski. “I feel like we’re progressing well. We’re developing, coming together as a team and getting healthy.”
Waynflete (2-1 and eighth in the Western C Heals, as of Monday) hosts Sacopee Wednesday and welcomes Traip Friday. The Flyers have a rematch at NYA on Oct. 2.
In Western A, Cheverus tops the Heals with a 4-0-1 mark after wins last week over host Biddeford (5-0) and visiting Bonny Eagle (5-1). Freshman Sade Lyons had a pair of goals in each victory.
The Stags hosted Noble Monday and have a huge home showdown versus powerhouse Scarborough Thursday. Saturday, they visit defending regional champion Thornton Academy.
Deering is quietly putting together a memorable campaign. The Rams lost a tough 1-0 decision at Westbrook last Wednesday, but bounced back Friday with a 5-0 victory at Portland (their second straight win over the Bulldogs). Junior Alexis Sivovlos had three goals and two assists. Junior Veronica Mitchell added a goal and an assist and senior Aarika Viola also scored once. Senior goalies Jen Lynch and Moira Trynor combined to make 11 saves.
Deering (3-2 and third in Western A) was at Marshwood Tuesday and hosts Massabesic Saturday.
Portland (which was coming off a 5-0 loss at Noble) fell to 0-5 with the setback and is 19th in the standings.
“(The Deering loss) was the same story we’ve seen off and on throughout our first five games,” said Bulldogs coach Dave Levasseur. “Lack of focus. The first two goals were literally in our hands and Deering was able to finish. Their third goal, which really took the wind out of our sails, was a result of us going through the learning process. We didn’t play through the whistle and Aarika (Viola) made a nice run from the top of the box and finished.”
The Bulldogs were at Marshwood Monday and Sanford Tuesday and play host to Gorham Thursday.
McAuley finally has a blemish on its record, but remains undefeated. Friday, the Lions settled for a 1-1 home tie against Windham and are now 3-0-1 on the season. Freshman Nina Davenport (from sophomore Emily Verhoven) had the McAuley goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Molly Miller stopped 11 shots.
The Lions (13th in the Heals) went to Gorham Tuesday and play at Westbrook Thursday. They host Sanford Saturday.
The Cheverus girls’ cross country team, ranked first in the latest coaches’ poll, joined Massasbesic and Thornton Academy for a meet at Gorham Friday and won yet again. Junior Emily Durgin was first individually, completing the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 10 seconds.
In the boys’ competition, the Stags were third behind the hosts and Massabesic. Senior Jack Terwilliger did come in first individually (16:19).
Deering (along with Bonny Eagle) ran at Sanford. The boys won their race with junior Sean Perry placing third (17:56). The girls were second to Bonny Eagle. Junior Ella Ramonas finished fourth (20:56).
McAuley joined Kennebunk and Scarborough at Westbrook and placed third behind the Red Storm and Rams. Junior Taxia Arabatzis had the fifth-fastest time (21:55).
Portland (with Marshwood) ran at Windham and both teams placed third. The boys were paced by junior Dexter Morse (third, 18:40), while the top girls’ finisher was junior Nyawal Lia (ninth, 23:36).
Waynflete joined Fryeburg at Freeport’s Merriconeag School. The boys tied Fryeburg for second. The girls were second to the hosts. Sophomore Martha Veroneau won the girls’ race (21:24). Junior Abshir Horor was runner-up on the boys’ side (17:14).
All of the city schools will compete in the Southwestern Classic at Twin Brook in Cumberland Saturday.
City golf teams did battle at the start of this week as the teams tried to hone their games for the upcoming state qualifier.
Deering took a 5-0 mark into the week after downing Portland (7.5-5.5) and Westbrook (13-0) last week. The Rams were at South Portland Monday and host Cheverus Wednesday. The Stags were 3-2 heading into Monday’s match at Portland. The Bulldogs got into the win column for the first time since 2008 last Tuesday with a 12-1 victory over Westbrook. Portland fell to 1-4 the next afternoon with a 10.5-2.5 loss to South Portland. Waynflete took an 0-6 mark into Monday’s home match versus Poland.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deering senior quarterback Jamie Ross bulls into the end zone for a second period touchdown. The Rams fell to 2-1 on the season after a 34-12 home loss to Bonny Eagle Thursday night.
Deering’s John Miranda lays a crushing hit on Bonny Eagle junior Nick Adkins.