With the midway point of the high school football regular season looming this weekend, all three local teams are very much in the title mix.
Last weekend, Cape Elizabeth stayed undefeated, barely, with a palpitating 35-34 overtime win at Spruce Mountain.
Scarborough made it two in a row with a 54-14 victory at Massabesic.
South Portland, meanwhile, suffered its first loss, 25-0, at Sanford.
Cape Elizabeth went to Spruce Mountain last Friday knowing it would get a battle and the Capers did for 48 minutes and then some.
The Phoenix went ahead 14-0 before Cape Elizabeth quarterback Jack O’Rourke hit Justin Guerrette for a 6-yard touchdown to make it 14-7. After Spruce Mountain went on top, 21-7, Nate Ingalls answered with a 61-yard jaunt on a slant-and-go from O’Rourke. Later, O’Rourke found five different receivers in a two-minute drill that ended with his own 10-yard scramble. Ben Ekedahl’s point-after try veered wide right and the Phoenix led 21-20 at the break.
Spruce Mountain extended its lead to 28-20 after three quarters, but Ryan Weare’s 1-yard TD and O’Rourke’s two-point conversion rush pulled Cape even at 28-28 with 9:19 to go.
After Ekedahl had a potential game-winning field goal blocked late in regulation, the game would go to overtime, where O’Rourke hit Matt Graham for a 6-yard TD. Ekedahl added the PAT. The Phoenix then got a touchdown, but attempting to win it with a two-point conversion, Spruce Mountain was denied on a rush as Ekedahl and Weare came up with a huge stop to secure the 35-34 triumph.
“We knew they were going to run, and we said we didn’t work this hard the entire game to lose on one play,” O’Rourke said. “We just had to step up, and Ryan Weare did. That was a hell of a play by him. This is a huge win for us. This is our first big test on the road against a very good team. It’s good to get it.”
“We needed to see what we’re made of,” Cape Elizabeth coach Aaron Filieo said. “I knew Spruce would play us very tough and very well. I thought the boys were tough and made the plays when they needed to.”
O’Rourke, who hadn’t played football since elementary school until this summer, completed 19-of-30 pass attempts for 273 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a score.
The senior beat out junior incumbent Jeb Boeschenstein for the job in camp.
“(Jack’s) still learning,” Filieo said. “He came to me last spring and said he wanted to be the quarterback. I said, ‘We’ve got a quarterback, but every position’s open.’ So he competed.”
Ekedahl had six catches for 81 yards. Ingalls grabbed four for a team-high 108.
Cape Elizabeth (now first in the Class C South Crabtree Points standings) looks to stay perfect Saturday when it goes to 0-3 Freeport (see theforecaster.net for game story). Last year, the Capers beat the visiting Falcons, 48-0.
Scarborough, which lost its opener, is rounding in to the form many thought made the Red Storm the top threat to Thornton Academy this year.
Friday, Scarborough fell behind early at winless Massabesic, then rallied to take a 42-7 lead to halftime behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Jack Hughes to Griffin Madden and a pair of scoring runs from Anthony Simoneau. The Red Storm cruised from there to a 54-14 victory to improve to 2-1.
Scarborough (second in Class A South) is back in action Friday when it hosts 1-2 Sanford. Last year, the Spartans won at Scarborough, 29-14.
South Portland took a 2-0 record to Sanford last Friday the day after the team didn’t practice in the wake of a school investigation into the program about possible drug use. The Red Riots fell behind early, 7-0, trailed at halftime, 13-0, and went on to lose, 25-0, to fall to 2-1.
South Portland (third in Class A South) hosts up-and-coming 2-1 Deering Friday at a special kickoff time of 7:30 p.m. (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Red Riots haven’t faced the Rams since Oct. 12, 2012 (a 57-12 Deering victory).
Sun Journal staff writer Kalle Oakes contributed to this story.
Cape Elizabeth senior Ryan Harvey tries in vain to get to the Spruce Mountain quarterback during the Capers’ palpitating 35-34 overtime win last week.