With its highly anticipated annual showdown with Mountain Valley now just a week away, the Cape Elizabeth football team deserves plenty of credit for keeping its focus.
Last Friday night, the Capers improved to 7-0 with their seventh straight decisive victory, 41-7 over visiting Greely. After going to Lake Region Friday night, Cape Elizabeth will host Mountain Valley Oct. 30 for bragging rights and likely an undefeated regular season and homefield advantage for the postseason.
After dominating Poland, York, Fryeburg, Falmouth, Gray-New Gloucester and Wells by a composite 220-20 margin, the Capers hosted the 2-4 Rangers and promptly seized control of the game.
By the end of the first period, Cape Elizabeth was up 20-0, thanks to a 19-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Ezra Wolfinger to senior Tommy Foden, a 2-yard Wolfinger run and a 20-yard Wolfinger-to-senior-Finn Melanson scoring pass.
By halftime, the Capers had stretched their advantage to 41-0, as Foden scored on 9- and 17-yard runs and Wolfinger found Melanson from 25-yards out.
The Rangers punched in a touchdown in the fourth period, but Cape Elizabeth cruised to the 41-7 victory.
Wolfinger finished 10-of-11 passing for 134 yards and three TDs. Melanson caught four balls for 81 yards and two scores. Foden had three receptions for 27 yards and a TD and rushed four times for 33 yards and two more scores. Senior Steve Homa led the defense with five tackles.
Last year, the Capers drubbed Lake Region 54-6 at Cape Elizabeth. The Lakers enter Friday night’s game at 1-6 and have scored just 35 points all season.
The local Class A story was a little different.
South Portland, riding a three-game win streak and closing in on a first playoff berth since 2002, missed a golden opportunity last Friday when it lost 36-34 at home to Gorham.
The Red Riots led 14-8 after one quarter on a short TD run from senior quarterback Jon DiBiase and a long DiBiase-to-senior Mike Foley scoring pass, but the Rams rallied to lead 20-14 at the half.
The second half was back and forth. After South Portland went up 21-20 on a 1-yard run from senior Ryan Curit, the visitors went back on top, 28-21, on a short TD run. Another Curit scoring run tied the game at 28-28 after three, but the Rams took the lead for good on a scoring run and added a two-point conversion. Midway through the fourth, Curit scored again, this time from 30-yards out, but the two-point conversion failed, making it 36-34 Gorham. The hosts only needed to get the ball back to have a shot at another dramatic come-from-behind win, but the Red Riots couldn’t do so and fell to 4-3 when the Rams ran out the clock on their 36-34 victory.
South Portland travels to Portland (4-3) for its annual “Battle of the Bridge” game Friday night, the most meaningful Bridge game in seven seasons. Both teams control their playoff destiny. The Red Riots need a victory to ensure a postseason date. Last year, South Portland lost 20-14, in overtime, at home to the Bulldogs. The last time the Red Riots played at Fitzpatrick Stadium (2007), they won, 27-6.
Scarborough is down to one final chance to earn a victory this season. The Red Storm fell to 0-7 Friday after a 33-6 loss to visiting Marshwood. Scarborough plays host to 2-5 Kennebunk in the season finale Friday night. Last year, the Red Storm lost 35-14 at the Rams.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org