Cape, Scarborough football teams advance to semifinals

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Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough’s football teams passed their initial playoff tests Friday night and moved on to this weekend’s semifinals.

The Capers, the top seed in Class C South, had no trouble with No. 8 Poland in the quarterfinals, cruising to a 40-6 home victory.

Cape Elizabeth put it away in the first quarter, racing to a 21-0 lead behind a long touchdown pass from Jeb Boeschenstein to Brett McAlister and TD runs from Peyton Weatherbie and Nat Jordan. Boeschenstein twice passed to Ben Ekedahl for scores in the second period for a 35-0 halftime advantage. After the Capers registered a safety in the third quarter, Marshall Peterson kicked a fourth period field goal for a 40-0 lead. The Knights scored a late TD to account for the final score. 

Cape Elizabeth will host No. 4 Spruce Mountain (6-3) in the semifinals Friday night. On Sept. 16, the Capers rolled to a 55-12 home romp over the Phoenix. The teams have no playoff history.

Scarborough, ranked third in Class A South, ended No. 6 South Portland’s season at 2-7, with a 42-6 victory in the quarterfinals.

In the first-ever postseason encounter between the neighbors, the Red Storm went up, 7-0, on Owen Garrard’s short touchdown run in the first quarter. By halftime, Scarborough extended its advantage to 35-0, as Aren Dickman had a TD run, Drew LeClair broke off another and quarterback Zoltan Panyi hit Reece Lagerquist and Dickman for scores through the air. LeClair added a touchdown run in the third quarter to make it 42-0. The Red Riots got on the board in the fourth period when Matt Crockett hit Hayden Owen with a TD pass. 

“We were really pleased with how our team focused and performed Friday,” said Red Storm coach Lance Johnson. “We come out and set the tone early offensively and defensively by being tough and aggressive up front. We were able to execute our game plans on both sides of the ball and get a lot players into the game.

“We’ve been led all season by our offensive line of Dakota Joy, Zach Reed, Ben Hughes, Alex Bryer and Anthony Griffin. These guys work hard in every drill, every day in order to continually improve. Zoltan continues to improve at quarterback. In the last five games, he’s completed 66 percent of his passes and thrown for over 500 yards while throwing only one interception. We have three of the best running backs in our conference, Owen, Aren and Drew are collectively averaging over seven yards per carry on the season. We also have two very good receiving threats in Reece and Cody Dudley. Playing the most difficult schedule in Class A, we’ve been one of the stingiest defenses in the state, giving up only 106 points in nine games.”

Scarborough (7-2) has the daunting task of going to two-time defending Class A champion Thornton Academy (7-1) for the semifinals Saturday at 1 p.m. The Red Storm were competitive with the visiting Golden Trojans Sept. 30, but lost, 34-19. Thornton Academy has won all three prior playoff encounters, including a 35-0 victory in last year’s semifinals.

“We are excited for the opportunity to play Thornton,” said Johnson. “We had a very competitive game with them in the regular season. We out-gained them, 335-265 in yards from scrimmage. We gave up two big plays in special teams that really hurt us and we had some dropped passes.

“We feel like if we execute our game plan and limit mistakes this should be a great match-up. Thornton Academy has one of the best players in the state in Michael Laverriere. We hope to limit his big plays. Our players are motivated and excited about the chance to compete on Saturday.”

The regional finals are Nov. 11-12 on the fields of the highest remaining seeds.

The Class A and Class C state finals are Saturday, Nov. 19 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.