Local teams impressing in early action-Portland edition

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Portland’s Jamal Moriba intercepts a pass in front of Cheverus’ Akera Oryem during the Bulldogs’ 37-7 win Friday. Moriba had three interceptions on the night.

Cheverus’ Lily Paszyc and Portland’s Hazel Praught battle for the ball during the Stags’ 3-0 win last week at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Portland goalie Jada McIlwain makes one of her 37 saves during the Bulldogs’ 7-0 home loss to Westbrook Friday.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Portland-Cheverus football, Cheverus-Falmouth and Portland-Gorham boys’ soccer, Cheverus-Portland girls’ soccer and Portland-Westbrook field hockey game stories, see theforecaster.net)

The first full week of the fall sports season is in the rear-view mirror and results continue to reflect strong play from local squads. 

Here’s a look back and a glimpse at what’s to come as the action continues to heat up:

Football

Longtime rivals Portland and Cheverus met in a gridiron showdown of 1-0 teams Friday evening at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The Bulldogs, coming off a 49-0 win at Windham, drove 60 yards to start the game, taking a 7-0 lead on a 10-yard run from Ben Levine. After the Portland defense forced a Stags’ three-and-out, Ben Stasium returned the ensuing punt 63 yards for another touchdown.

“I thought they were going to wrap me up or trip me up, but I was able to kind of hop and step over some legs and get some open space,” Stasium said. “I got some good blocks. That was huge.”

On the following Cheverus drive, Portland Jamal Moriba intercepted a pass and moments later, Zack Elowitch broke free for a 63-yard touchdown run for an apparently commanding 21-0 lead.

But Cheverus, coming off a big win of its own in its opener, 43-6, over visiting Massabesic, got on the board when quarterback Marc Reali hit Teigan Lindstedt from 10-yards out to make it 21-7 after one frenetic quarter.

In the second period, the Stags twice drove into Bulldogs’ territory with a chance to draw closer, but after they fumbled the first time, Reali was intercepted by Moriba, who returned the ball 60 yards to set up a 1-yard Elowitch run to restore the three-touchdown lead.

Then, just before halftime, an Elowitch punt pinned Cheverus inside its 1 and on the next play, Reali was tackled in the end zone for a safety, giving Portland a 30-7 advantage at the break.

The Stags couldn’t muster a second half rally, finishing with negative yardage in the final two quarters, and the Bulldogs added one more score, as Moriba scored on a 10-yard burst in the fourth period, and Portland went on to a 37-7 victory.

The Bulldogs managed 261 yards of offense.

Moriba, who was named the Jack Duffy Award winner as Portland’s best player in the annual Portland-Cheverus game, gained 91 yards and scored a touchdown on nine carries, in addition to his three interceptions.

“It means a lot,” Moriba said. “I’ve watched other Portland players win it. Last year, I only played on defense. This year, I’m getting more time on the field. I’m happy to be out there.” 

The Bulldogs have a showdown at 2-0 Bonny Eagle Friday night. The teams last met in the 2016 Class A Final, as the Scots erased a halftime deficit and prevailed, 34-14.

“We’ll have our hands full up there next week,” Portland coach Jim Hartman said. “I’ve only coached against (Kevin Cooper) twice. He’s a phenomenal coach.”

Cheverus committed five turnovers and only mustered 110 yards in the loss to the Bulldogs.

“Portland is a good team, but we inflicted more pain on ourselves than they did,” said Stags coach Mike Vance. “Our inexperience really showed tonight. We’re trying to fast-track some young, inexperienced players and you could see the difference between the two teams.”

Cheverus is home with 0-2 Lewiston Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story). 

Deering fell to 0-2 after a 46-7 loss at defending Class A champion Scarborough Friday. The Rams’ points came on an 84-yard touchdown pass from James Opio to Wenston Dinizo. Deering visits 1-1 Bangor Friday night.

Boys’ soccer

Cheverus had a big week in boys’ soccer. 

The Stags, who opened with a 2-1 loss at Kennebunk, downed visiting Falmouth (2-1) and visiting Massabesic (4-0) to improve to 2-1. Against the Yachtsmen, Cheverus twice scored off corner kicks, as Tanner LaFlamme and Owen Burke finished.

“This was a big win for us,” said Burke. “Falmouth’s a great team. We were a pack. They almost broke us down, but we stayed together.”

“This was a big game for us,” said Stags coach Matt Andreasen. “The guys righted the ship and played with urgency, which was nice to see. These (Heal Points) are valuable. We’ll look back on this at the end of the season and feel fortunate.”

In the win over the Mustangs, Michael Nason had two goals and Jack Mullen and Will Mullen each added one.

The Stags went to Bonny Eagle Tuesday, host Portland Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and play at Sanford Tuesday of next week.

Deering lost its first two games, 3-0 at Scarborough and 4-1 at home to Gorham, before edging host Biddeford, 1-0, to improve to 1-2. Sekeriye Abduhalli had the goal against Gorham. The Rams were home with Massabesic Tuesday, go to Noble Thursday and host Kennebunk Monday.

Portland started with a 3-1 win at Massabesic, then lost twice at home to fall to 1-2. First, the Bulldogs dropped a 3-1 decision to Kennebunk, then they lost by the same score to Gorham in a playoff rematch. Against Kennebunk, Anselmo Tela had the goal. Mwanda Kaluta scored early against Gorham, but the Rams scored three times in the second half to avenge last year’s regional final ouster.

“It was a frustrating day,” said longtime Portland coach Rocco Frenzilli. “I thought we competed better than we did the other night (against Kennebunk), but there was too much pressure and you can only hold it off so long without giving yourself opportunities. We didn’t give ourselves enough opportunities to compete.”

The Bulldogs were home with Falmouth Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) visit Cheverus Thursday and play host to Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

Waynflete, which opened Aug. 30 with a 3-0 home over Traip Academy, returned to action Tuesday at home versus Sacopee Valley. The Flyers are at Gray-New Gloucester Thursday, host Greely Saturday and welcome St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week. 

Girls’ soccer

Cheverus’ girls’ soccer team entered Monday afternoon’s home showdown/playoff rematch versus Gorham (see theforecaster.net for game story) with a 3-0 record, following wins last week over host Portland (3-0) and South Portland (3-0). Against the Bulldogs, after a scoreless first half, the Stags got goals from Alex Hammond, freshman Julia Kratzer and Emma Gallant.

“It was a little frustrating (in the first half),” Kratzer said. “We had a little trouble with the wind, then we figured it out. They were pressuring high, so we had to go wide and up the field quickly.”

“We haven’t won at Fitzy against Portland since (2012),” said Cheverus coach Craig Roberts. “It’s big for the girls to do that.”

Gallant, Zoe Mazur and Lily Paszyc had the goals in the win over the Red Riots. The Stags host Massabesic Wednesday and go to Falmouth Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

Deering started with a 2-1 win at Biddeford, then fell to 1-2 with losses at Noble (2-0) and to visiting Bonny Eagle (3-0). Mia Sargent had both goals and Gianna Charest made 16 saves in the victory. Charest made 11 more saves in the loss to the Knights and stopped 12 shots against the Scots. The Rams go to Windham Wednesday and visit Gorham Saturday.

Portland beat visiting Massabesic, 4-0, in its opener, then lost at home to Cheverus, 3-0, and at Marshwood, 6-0, to fall to 1-2. Caroline Lerch had 10 saves in the loss to the Stags.

“We had a good game plan,” said Bulldogs coach Curtis Chapin. “I felt in the first half, we did largely what we wanted to do. In the second half, they got a flick off a corner and from there, the floodgates opened.”

Portland look to get back on track Wednesday at Gorham. The Bulldogs host Kennebunk Friday.

Waynflete opened with a 4-0 loss at Traip Academy Aug. 30. The Flyers returned to action Tuesday at home versus Sacopee Valley (see theforecaster.net for game story). Waynflete visits Old Orchard Beach Friday and goes to St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week.

Field hockey

Cheverus’ field hockey team started with a 1-0 home win over Kennebunk last Wednesday, then fell to 1-1 Saturday after a 4-3 loss at Massabesic. Haley Hinkle had the winner against the Rams. Hinkle, Lucia Pompeo and Sophie Pompeo had the goals in the loss. The Stags were home with Biddeford Tuesday, visit South Portland Thursday, welcome Gorham Saturday and play at Falmouth Monday of next week.

Deering fell to 0-3 after losses last week to visiting Gorham (4-2) and at Falmouth (1-0). Mackenzie O’Donnell and Alyssa Staples had the goals against Gorham. The Rams sought their first victory Monday at home versus Thornton Academy, then went to Sanford Tuesday. After going to defending regional champion Westbrook Monday, Deering is home with Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

Portland followed up a 6-0 setback at Thornton Academy to start the year with a 7-0 home loss to Westbrook Friday. The Bulldogs only managed one shot, but got a whopping 37 saves from goalie Jada McIlwain.

“(Jada) was phenomenal,” said Portland coach Beth Arsenault. “She had an amazing game. When she plays like that, we have a shot. We have to figure out how to score and get some momentum that way.”

The Bulldogs were at Marshwood Tuesday, host Scarborough Thursday and welcome Noble Monday.

Volleyball

After losing its opener to defending Class A champion Scarborough in five-sets, Deering’s volleyball team improved to 2-1 last week after downing visiting Portland in straight sets (25-12, 25-11, 25-8) and host Thornton Academy in straight sets (25-17, 25-21, 25-15). In the win over the Bulldogs, Maddy Broda had 23 assists and eight aces, Ava Spach added 11 kills and Catherine Balzno had four aces. Against the Golden Trojans, Broda had 15 assists and 13 digs, Spach had five kills and Balzano added five aces. The Rams were at Marshwood Tuesday, host South Portland in a playoff rematch Thursday and welcome Windham Monday.

Cheverus started with a 3-0 (17-25, 23-25, 10-25) home loss to Biddeford, then swept host Massabesic to give new coach Andrew Wimmer his first victory and even its record at 1-1. The Stags were at Windham Monday and hosted Scarborough Tuesday. They host Marshwood Thursday and visit South Portland Tuesday of next week.

Portland fell to 1-2 after a straight set (12-25, 11-25, 8-25) loss at Deering and a four-set home loss to Kennebunk last week. The Bulldogs go to Gorham Thursday and host Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

Cross country

Cheverus, Deering and Portland’s cross country teams took part in the Southern Maine Classic in Gorham last week.

In the boys’ meet, won by Greely, Deering came in sixth, Portland was eighth and Cheverus placed 17th. The Rams were led individually by Alec Troxell, who left the field in his wake, placing first on the five-kilometer course in 15 minutes, 45.87 seconds. The Bulldogs were paced by Joe Harrington (30th, 17:10.66). The Stags’ top finisher was Will Herman (41st, 17:34.09).

The girls’ meet was won by Bonny Eagle. Cheverus came in sixth, Deering placed 14th and Portland was 15th. The Rams were led by Sierra Aponte-Clarke (15th, 19:50.72). Rosie Train (34th, 21:17.86) was the top finisher for the Stags. The Bulldogs were paced by Emeline Avignon (38th, 21:29.10).

Friday, Cheverus joins Biddeford and Westbrook at Massabesic, Deering runs with Kennebunk and Marshwood at Scarborough, Portland joins Falmouth and Thornton Academy at Sanford and Waynflete runs at Greely.

Golf

Cheverus’ golf team won its first match, 11-2, over Portland, but fell to 1-2 last week with losses to defending Class A champion Scarborough (10-3) and Falmouth (7-6). Against the Red Storm, Jeremy Baker had a team-best nine-hole score of 38. In the loss to the Yachtsmen, Tom Higgins (36) was the medalist. The Stags were at South Portland Tuesday, host Deering Thursday and welcome Portland Tuesday of next week.

Portland dropped its first two matches before getting in the win column last Tuesday, 9.5-3.5, over South Portland. Cooper Bay (39) was the medalist. The Bulldogs’ match versus Deering last Thursday was rained out. Portland hosted Falmouth Tuesday, welcomes Scarborough Thursday and visits Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Deering suffered its first loss and fell to 1-1 last Tuesday, 10.5-2.5, to Falmouth. Nick McGonagle shot a team-best 37. The Rams were at Scarborough Tuesday, visit Cheverus Thursday and play host to South Portland Tuesday of next week.

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.