Cheverus’ Bobby Slattery leaps to make an interception during Saturday’s 30-0 home win over Bangor.
(For the complete Cheverus-Bangor game story, with a box score and additional photos, see theforecaster.net)
The high school football regular season has just two weeks remaining and city teams remain in the thick of contention.
Cheverus bounced back from a tough loss a week ago to blank visiting Bangor, 30-0, and improve to 4-2.
Defending Class A North champion Portland won its fifth game in a row, 34-13, over visiting Lewiston, and improved to 5-1.
Only Deering fell short, as the injury-plagued Rams dropped a 14-0 home decision to Oxford Hills to fall to 2-4.
Cheverus has improved leaps and bounds since week two, when it lost, 65-0, at home to two-time defending Class A champion Thornton Academy. The Stags almost recorded a signature victory against Portland in week five, but lost, 35-27.
Saturday, on Homecoming, Cheverus hosted winless Bangor and took care of business with a solid 48-minute performance.
Cheverus moved up and down the field in the first half, but only had 10 points to show for it, an 11-yard run from workhorse running back Max Coffin in the first quarter and a 27-yard field goal from placekicker Chandler Hartigan in the second.
The Stags then quickly ended any remaining doubt in the third quarter when the Casale Cousins Aerial Show twice hooked up for long scores, as quarterback Jack Casale hit receiver Dominic Casale first for 60 yards and then for 37, making the score 23-0.
“In the first half, we had some jitters and we had route confusion a couple times,” Jack Casale said. “In the second half, we knew if (Dominic) got behind the defense, we’d be fine. I put it up there and he caught it. Our O line put us in a good position, holding their blocks. I know he’s a big target and if I throw it up, he’ll go get it.”
“Those two have done that together since they were in diapers,” Cheverus coach Mike Vance said.
Rylan Benedict, who joined Coffin as a 100-yard-plus runner, then scored on a 27-yard scamper in the fourth period and Cheverus went on to a 30-0 victory.
“It feels good,” Casale said. “We wanted to come out and show we could compete and be tough and physical. Bangor’s physical and we wanted to match their physicality. We played a really good game against Portland, but we had to move forward. We wanted to execute today and we did.”
“It’s a nice win on Homecoming,” said Vance. “I didn’t need to get the kids focused. They came in ready to go. They give us the same effort every practice, every game. They’re not a really vocal group. They’re unassuming. They show up and they’re very consistent.”
The Stags finished with a 320-100 advantage in yardage.
Coffin led the way with 148 yards and one TD on 19 carries.
“I have to congratulate my offensive line for blocking for me and giving me the holes I needed,” Coffin said. “We knew their D line wasn’t as strong as our offensive line. We knew we could body them up.”
Benedict broke triple figures as well, gaining 103 yards and scoring one touchdown on 20 carries.
Jack Casale finished with just three completions in nine attempts, but they went for 101 yards and two TDs. Dominic Casale had two catches for 97 yards and both went to the house.
Cheverus (second to Portland in the Class A North Crabtree Points standings at press time) has a brutal closing stretch, featuring a game at 4-2 Scarborough Friday (last year, the Stags defeated the visiting Red Storm, 41-13) and a home tilt versus Windham in the finale.
Portland’s game Friday started a half hour later than originally scheduled because of a wake that afternoon for Phil Foley, the father of Bulldogs receiver Griffin Foley.
Griffin Foley then delivered an awe inspiring performance, helping the Bulldogs improve to 44-30-6 all-time against Lewiston, in a series which dates to 1900.
After Dylan Bolduc scored on a touchdown run in the first quarter, Foley made a dramatic entrance to a loud ovation and late in the period, Foley caught a TD pass from Issiah Bachelder to produce a 13-0 lead.
Foley wasn’t done, as he caught another touchdown pass in the second quarter, helping Portland go ahead, 20-0.
Bachelder threw one more TD, a long strike to Jake Knop, and after the Blue Devils scored twice, Bolduc iced it with a second scoring run and the Bulldogs prevailed, 34-13.
“Griffin was very inspirational,” said Portland coach Jim Hartman. “He got a standing ovation when he walked on to the field and a standing ovation after his first touchdown.
“In the first half, the kids did everything we drew up on the board beautifully. They’re getting so much better each week.”
Portland (first in Class A North) hosts 0-6 Bangor Friday night. Last year, the Bulldogs won, 59-0, in Bangor to take a 67-46 advantage (with 15 ties) in a series which dates to 1893. Portland wraps up the regular season Oct. 22 at South Portland in the “Battle of the Bridge.”
“We can’t overlook anyone,” Hartman said. “Every team we play is tough. Bangor’s desperate for a win. We’ll have to figure them out and take care of business.”
Deering entered Friday’s home game versus Oxford Hills having dropped three of four. The Rams hoped to even their record, but their hopes were dashed early when standout quarterback Nate Richards suffered a back injury on the third play. He didn’t return and Deering couldn’t generate any offense.
The Vikings scored touchdowns in the second and fourth quarters and beat the Rams, 14-0.