There was no place like road for city football teams last weekend.
Cheverus went to Oxford Hills and had no trouble winning its 36th straight regular season game (and third this fall), 38-0, over the Vikings.
Portland traveled to Edward Little and while the Bulldogs are still trying to hit their stride, they did enough to prevail, 22-0, and improved to 2-1 in the process.
Deering hosted Bangor and while the host Rams played well, they dropped to 0-3 after a 26-7 loss to the Rams from up north.
Portland began the season with a 41-3 loss at Cheverus, then won at home over Deering, 42-14. Friday, at Edward Little, the Bulldogs were expected to romp.
Portland’s first big play was nullified by a holding penalty as Joe Esposito ran 43 yards into the end zone for what would have been the first touchdown of the game, but it was called back on one of Portland’s nine penalties. The Bulldogs still punched it into the end zone later in the drive as quarterback Ryan Ruhlin kept it himself for a 19-yard TD run.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 14-0 midway through the second quarter on a 48-yard touchdown run by George Chaison-Lapine. Chaison-Lapine scored his second touchdown of the night with 7:58 remaining in the third, a 9-yard run to make it 20-0. The junior running back finished with 88 yards on 13 carries.
“We lost a lot of good running backs last year,” Chaison-Lapine said. “I’m just trying to come in here and fill in those spots. We’re making progress. It’s all about getting better.”
Esposito led Portland’s running game with 102 yards on 19 carries.
“Our line is incredible,” Chaison-Lapine said. “We have a lot of all-state potential. With that performance I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
“We don’t pass a lot,” Bulldogs coach Jim Hartman said. “We want to stuff it down your throat.”
Portland’s defense put points on the board, too, producing a safety, pushing the lead to 22-0 with less than a minute remaining in the third.
“The defense was superb,” Hartman said. “Defense did everything right. They played their hearts out.”
Portland improved to 43-19-2 all-time against Edward Little in a rivalry which dates back to 1896.
The Bulldogs hope to make it three in a row Friday night, but it won’t come easily against visiting 3-0 Bangor. Last year, Portland won at Bangor, 33-20. The teams have met 125 times dating back to 1893 (the Bulldogs lead the series, 65-45-15).
Cheverus just doesn’t lose in September or October. After opening with a 41-3 home win over Portland and a 50-0 romp at Lewiston, the Stags went back to the Twin Cities Friday and had little trouble with Oxford Hills, as standout Joe Fitzpatrick scored six times and Cheverus rolled, 38-0.
A field goal from Patrick Mourmouras opened the scoring. Fitzpatrick scored on two short runs in the second period for a 17-0 halftime lead. Two more Fitzpatrick runs (of 32- and 2-yards) made it 31-0 after three periods and a 67-yard Fitzpatrick scamper in the fourth period accounted for the final score.
Fitzpatrick finished with 251 yards on 26 carries. Justin Johnston added 96 yards on 10 attempts. Defensively, Zordan Holman had nine tackles and a sack.
The Stags will be tested Saturday afternoon when they return home to meet 3-0 Windham in a compelling contest. Last year, Cheverus won at the Eagles, 57-22.
Deering continues to make positive strides, even though it hasn’t shown up yet in the win column. After falling at home to Windham (53-12) and at Portland (42-14) to start the year, the Rams welcomed Bangor Friday.
Bangor took a 13-0 lead after one period, but the Rams pulled within 13-7 when quarterback Max Chabot scored on a short run. Bangor added another TD before the half, then scored again in the fourth period to ice it, 26-7.
Deering will try again to get in the win column Friday when 1-2 Massabesic pays a visit. Last year, the Rams lost at the Mustangs in the waning seconds, 13-12.
Sun Journal staff writer Mike Kraft contributed to this story
Portland running back George Chaison-Lapine turns the corner and looks for running room behind blocker Charles Kovarik (55) as Edward Little’s Quinn Bradley (58) gives chase during the Bulldogs’ 22-0 victory Friday night.