Local squads rack up key victories-Southern edition

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Scarborough junior Tyler Gobeil, left, and senior Jeremy Sendrowski combine to bring down Thornton Academy sophomore quarterback Will Mitchell during the teams’ showdown last week. The Red Storm led most of the way, but the Golden Trojans rallied for the final 18 points of the game to prevail, 32-28.

Cape Elizabeth’s Lila Gaudrault runs toward a second-place individual finish as last week’s five-team meet in Gray. The Capers were first as a team.

Senior Lauren Topchik is hugged by her Scarborough teammates after the scoring the lone goal in the Red Storm’s 1-0 win at Westbrook in a battle of unbeaten teams.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-Thornton Academy football, Scarborough-Westbrook and South Portland-Cheverus field hockey and Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth volleyball game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The fall sports season has hit its full stride and highlights have been plentiful for local athletes and teams. There’s still a long way to go, but every event now takes on more meaning and here’s a glimpse at what’s occurred and what’s ahead:

Football

South Portland was the only local football team to win last Friday night and all three squads are now 2-1 on the season.

The Red Riots shot to a 6-0 lead on Spencer Houlette’s touchdown run, but visiting Deering made it 6-6 after one quarter. South Portland went ahead to stay on a touchdown pass from Jake Poole to Hunter Owen and took a 20-6 advantage at the half when Houlette broke free for another TD run. The Red Riots blanked the Rams from there and went on to a 20-6 victory, their first over Deering since 2009. Friday, South Portland looks for its first 3-1 start since 2013, but it won’t come easily as the Red Riots visit 3-0 Bonny Eagle, the defending Class A state champion. Last year, the Scots beat host South Portland, 60-20, in the season opener.

Scarborough, after two easy wins, hosted Thornton Academy in a highly-anticipated showdown last Friday and the game lived up billing. Scarborough got off to a fast start when it drove 50 yards in 10 plays to grab a 7-0 lead on Owen Garrard’s 1-yard touchdown plunge. After a Red Storm fumble, the Golden Trojans answered and the game went to halftime tied, 7-7. 

All kinds of zaniness then broke out in the second half, as the shootout everyone expected finally broke out. As it did to start the game, Scarborough produced a touchdown on its first second half drive, as Garrard broke free for a 14-yard run and a 14-7 lead. Again, a Red Storm turnover gave Thornton Academy a short field and the Golden Trojans would draw even, 14-14. Scarborough went back on top, when its big play capability began to assert itself later in the third. After quarterback Zoltan Panyi broke free for a 38-yard run, Jarett Flaker scored on a 28-yard scamper. Early in the fourth period, Panyi and Cody Dudley hooked up for a 74-yard TD and the Red Storm were poised to break away, leading, 28-14.

But just when Thornton Academy appeared on life support, it dug deep into its reservoir of championship heart and embarked on a palpitating rally, scoring 18 straight points to stun Scarborough, 32-28.

“We wound up on the wrong side of it, but I’m proud of our guys,” said Red Storm coach Lance Johnson. “We played hard. We didn’t play smart and we just made too many mistakes.”

Scarborough looks to bounce back Friday at 0-3 Massabesic. Last year, the Red Storm handled the visiting Mustangs, 49-0.

Cape Elizabeth hoped to avenge last year’s playoff ouster when it went to Wells last weekend, but the Capers fell behind, 7-0, in the first quarter. Ryan Weare’s touchdown run tied it in the second. The Warriors went back on top in the third period and this time, Cape Elizabeth couldn’t answer and lost, 14-7. The Capers host Maine Central Institute (2-1) Friday night. The teams didn’t play last year.

Boys’ soccer

South Portland’s boys’ soccer team continues to set the pace locally. The Red Riots improved to 5-0-1, its best start since 2012, with recent wins over visiting Massabesic (7-1) and host Noble (6-0). Charlie Cronin had three goals, Kyle Patterson two and Damir Brkic and Cooper Mehlhorn one apiece against the Mustangs. In the win over the Knights, Cronin scored three more goals, while Mehlhorn, Patterson and Quinn Watson also tickled the twine. South Portland looks to finish the first half of its schedule undefeated for the first time this century Friday when Kennebunk pays a visit. Tuesday brings a trip to Windham and Thursday, the Red Riots host perennial powerhouse Falmouth for the first time.

Scarborough improved to 4-2 with recent shutouts over visiting Biddeford (6-0) and host Massabesic (4-0). In the win over the Tigers, the Red Storm got goals from six different players: Anthony Clavette, Patrick Clonan, Jacob DaRosa, Alex Dobecki, Noah Drapeau and Colin McKeough. Against the Mustangs, Nick Anderson, Liam Bridgham, Brian Farino and Marco Manfra all scored. Scarborough hosted Noble Thursday, goes to Kennebunk Tuesday and hosts Windham Thursday of next week.

Cape Elizabeth gave coach Ben Raymond a landmark win Friday (see story) when it blanked visiting Fryeburg Academy, 2-0, behind John O’Connor’s two goals. Tuesday, the Capers hosted Greely in a playoff rematch and neither team scored. The 0-0 draw left Cape Elizabeth 3-1-1 on the season. The Capers play at three-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth Friday and host Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.

Greater Portland Christian School was 2-2 entering Wednesday’s game at Highview Christian. GPCS held off visiting Seacoast Christian, 3-2, lost at Temple Academy (8-0) and downed host Chop Point, 3-1, in recent action. The Lions welcome Pine Tree Academy Friday, Rangeley Tuesday and Vinalhaven Wednesday.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, Scarborough remained unblemished at press time. The Red Storm improved to 5-0 last week after downing host Kennebunk (6-0) and visiting Bonny Eagle (2-1). Gaby Panagakos and Lauren Sabatino had two goals apiece and Sierra Duggan and Ashley Sabatino scored once in the win over the Rams. Against the Scots, Panagakos had both goals. Scarborough hosted Deering Wednesday, goes to Biddeford Saturday and welcomes Sanford Tuesday of next week.

South Portland lost its first two games, but played Marshwood to a scoreless tie last Wednesday, downed visiting Thornton Academy, 3-2, Saturday, then settled for a 2-2 home tie with Kennebunk Tuesday. Evelyn Selser had two goals and Brooklynn Ortiz added one in the win. In the tie against the Rams, Hattie Tetzlaff had both goals, including the equalizer. The Red Riots (1-2-2) play at Portland Saturday morning (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcome Massabesic Monday and play host to Biddeford Wednesday.

Cape Elizabeth has won five straight since losing its opener at Freeport. Saturday, the Capers blanked visiting Fryeburg Academy, 7-0, and Tuesday, they rallied for a stirring 3-2 victory at rival Greely. In the win over the Raiders, Grace Gillian scored twice and Abbie Caswell, Karli Chapin, Tory McGrath, Prezli Piscopo and Zoe Preble had one goal apiece. Against the Rangers, Piscopo scored twice, including the tying tally late. Piscopo then set up Chapin for the winner with under a minute to play. Cape Elizabeth has a showdown at defending Class B champion Yarmouth Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and goes to Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.

GPCS fell to 1-2 last Wednesday with a 2-0 home loss to North Yarmouth Academy. The Lions were at Highview Christian Wednesday, host Pine Tree Academy Friday and welcome Rangeley Tuesday and Vinalhaven Wednesday of next week.

Field hockey

Scarborough’s field hockey game is every bit as powerful as always, despite what some preseason proclamations would have had you believe. The Red Storm improved to 7-0 at the midway point after recent wins over visiting Portland (5-2), host Westbrook (1-0) and visiting Marshwood (4-0). Lucia Malia had two goals, while Julia Booth-Howe, Hannah Dobecki and Caroline Timpson also rattled the cage versus the Bulldogs. Malia set up Lauren Topchik for an early goal at the Blue Blazes and a stellar defensive effort made the lead hold up.

“We got the passes and worked well together,” said Topchik. “We were able to keep the lead the entire game. That was vital.”

“This goes to show that we’re the real deal,” said longtime Red Storm coach Kerry Mariello. “We’ve had some big games but not to this level. Westbrook was really hyped up and for us to come out and pull through on a surface we’re not totally comfortable with is a big deal.” 

Timpson had a hat trick and Malia had a goal against the Hawks, as Scarborough earned a measure of revenge for last year’s playoff ouster. The Red Storm go to Deering Monday and host Noble Wednesday.

South Portland fell to 3-4 with losses last week at Cheverus (6-1) and at home to Kennebunk (3-0) and a 4-0 setback at defending regional champion Massabesic Tuesday. Against the Stags, Sara Axelrod scored and Abbie Jellison had eight saves, but it wasn’t enough.

“We’re working on hitting our stride for a whole game,” Red Riots coach Leslie Dyer said. “We have our spurts. I hope the girls find their passion for the game. I know they have the skills. We just have to put it together.”

South Portland was home with Biddeford Thursday and goes to Gorham Wednesday.

Cape Elizabeth took a 2-3 mark into Wednesday night’s game at Yarmouth (see theforecaster.net for game story) after falling last week to visiting Lake Region (3-0) and at defending state champion (3-1). Christiana Pinette made 22 saves against the Lakers. Isabel Berman had the goal against the Wildcats. The Capers go to Fryeburg Academy Tuesday and visit Greely Thursday of next week.

Volleyball

Cape Elizabeth’s volleyball team is awakening the echoes of the 2014 championship team with its stirring 7-0 start. Last week, the Capers downed visiting Yarmouth in a battle of unbeatens, 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21) and Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth outlasted host Falmouth in a four-set thriller (25-19, 24-26, 29-27, 25-13). Against the Clippers, Megan Connelly had 20 kills and 13 service points and Maggie Dadmun finished with 33 assists.

“I was thinking that I had to get (my serves) in and get us going,” said Connelly. “I focused on where I wanted to serve it.”

“I would love to go all the way this year,” Dadmun said. “I think we can do it if we work together and trust each other. We have to play as a team. I’m excited.”

“I’m lucky I have good players to serve and play defense,” said Capers coach Sarah Boeckel. “I’ve never carried 18 on my roster, but I like that I have options.”

The Capers let the second set slip away at Falmouth and almost had that happen again in the third, as six set points went for naught, but they finally closed it out, then went on to a dramatic victory behind 31 assists and 14 service points from Dadmun, 12 service points from Tess Dolan, 11 kills and 10 service points from Connelly and nine kills and nine service points from Anna Torre, who came up huge in the fourth and final game.

“It helped that we stayed in it mentally through the ups and downs,” Torre said. “We’re good at pulling it together and not getting down on each other. Falmouth is a good team. It’s a big win. It’s exciting.”

“We like to make it dramatic,” said Boeckel. “It’s the competition. Great competition. We have to fight for every point of every game.”

The Capers hosted defending Class A champion Greely Thursday, go to York Tuesday, then have another key showdown at home versus Scarborough Thursday of next week.

Scarborough has won five straight since a season opening loss to Deering, capped by 3-0 victories at Cheverus and Massabesic. The Red Storm hosted Marshwood Thursday, welcome Greely in a state final rematch Tuesday before playing at Cape Elizabeth Thursday of next week.

South Portland dropped a four-set (18-25, 25-19, 18-25, 23-25) match at Falmouth last week, then improved to 2-3 by blanking Cheverus (25-22, 25-16, 25-5) Tuesday. Against the Yachtsmen, Kaleisha Towle had seven blocks and five kills and Molly Mawhinney added six kills. Towle had eight kills in the victory. The Red Riots were home with Bonny Eagle Thursday, play at Marshwood Saturday and host Massabesic Tuesday of next week.

Cross country

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ cross country team won a five-team meet at Gray-New Gloucester last week. The Capers were paced by Lila Gaudrault, who was second individually in 20 minutes, 36 seconds. The boys’ team was second behind Greely. Jack Bassett finished second individually in 18:29.

Scarborough’s boys were second to Deering in a four-team meet at Westbrook. Harrison Osborne placed fourth individually (17:28.01). The Red Storm girls placed third, but Bethany Sholl was the individual winner in 20:10.07.

South Portland’s boys were fourth and the girls fifth in a five-team meet at Falmouth. Liam Piper paced the boys with a 12th-place showing (18:37). The girls were led by Rachel Kingsley (19th, 26:46).

Friday, South Portland joins Falmouth, Marshwood, Portland and Windham at Kennebunk, Scarborough runs with Biddeford, Bonny Eagle, Deering, Gorham and Westbrook at Thornton Academy and Cape Elizabeth will join Lake Region at Sacopee Valley.

Golf

Scarborough’s golf team improved to 5-2 with recent wins over Portland (12.5-0.5) and Falmouth (13-0). After going to Cheverus Thursday, the Red Storm host South Portland Tuesday and welcome Deering Thursday of next week in the regular season finale.

South Portland fell to 0-6 after recent losses to Falmouth (9-4) and Deering (11-2). The Red Riots were at Falmouth Wednesday and hosted Portland Thursday. They go to Scarborough Tuesday, then finish at home versus Cheverus Thursday of next week.

Cape Elizabeth stayed undefeated with a 6-1 win over Poland Tuesday. The Capers are at NYA Wednesday of next week.

The Southwestern Maine Activities Association qualifying round for the state match will be contested Oct. 2.

The Western Maine Conference qualifier is Oct. 4.

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.