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Cheverus crushes Windham for No. 28; Portland wins in OT, Deering falls late

Sports

Cheverus crushes Windham for No. 28; Portland wins in OT, Deering falls late

The two-time defending Class A state champion Cheverus football team continued to draw closer to the all-time state consecutive wins record Friday night with a surprisingly easy 47-0 romp at Windham.

The Stags' train marched on and completely dominated even in a game where it was supposed to be challenged.

Cheverus led 21-0 after one period, 41-0 at the half and accounted for the final score with a third quarter touchdown. It was the Donald Goodrich Show, as the standout had 230 first half yards.

Quarterback Liam Fitzpatrick put the Stags ahead to stay with a short TD run in the opening quarter. Goodrich then scored on a short TD run and added the two-point conversion for a 14-0 lead. After Fitzpatrick hit Ryan Casale with a scoring pass, Goodrich had three rushing touchdowns in the second quarter. A Joe Fitzpatrick TD rush was the lone second half score as Cheverus coach John Wolfgram substituted liberally.

The Stags have now won a mindboggling 28 straight games, which leaves them three shy of the all-time record, set by South Portland in the 1990s, when it was coached by Wolfgram.

Cheverus goes for a 5-0 start and a 29th successive victory Saturday, when it hosts Gorham, in just its second home game of the year. Last fall, the Stags won, 30-0, at the Rams.

Portland continued its climb into the upper tier with a thrilling 13-7 overtime win at Bonny Eagle. The Bulldogs, who won only two games in 2011, improved to 3-1 with a come-from-behind triumph.

Portland didn't even score until 6:42 remained, when Ryan Ruhlin hit Garang Majok with a scoring pass to tie the score, 7-7. In OT, the Bulldogs intercepted a pass on defense, then won it on a scoring run from Justin Zukowski for their most dramatic victory in many seasons.

"It was a great game," said Portland coach Jim Hartman. "It was messy and sloppy, but it was good drama. Three yards and a cloud of dust kind of game. Penalties hurt us. We had a bunch of key penalties, but when we had to step up, we did. Garang made a great play. Justin had a tough run. He dragged some guys into the end zone. It's a huge win for the program. It should help us. I hope it lifts us up and makes the kids realize that if they keep working at it, they can do some things."

Portland looks to improve to 4-1 Friday when it hosts surprising 3-1 Noble. Last year, the Bulldogs beat the host Knights, 39-12.

"Noble is very disciplined," Hartman said. "Nothing fancy, but they pressure you. They just play football. We'll have to earn it. We'll see if the boys are up for it. It's a potential trap game."

Deering looked like it was closing in on its initial victory, leading visiting, undefeated Scarborough almost the whole way before seeing the Red Storm rally late for a 28-21 triumph. It was the Rams' first ever loss to Scarborough.

Deering grabbed an immediate 7-0 lead when Kenny Sweet returned the opening kickoff for a score. The Red Storm drew even, but a Sweet TD run put the Rams back on top. Deering clung to a 14-13 halftime lead and extended it to 21-13 on a Sweet scoring run in the third period, but late in the quarter, Scarborough drew even on a punt return and a two-point conversion and the Red Storm won it with a touchdown with just 1:30 to go.

The 0-4 Rams are home with 1-3 Biddeford Friday. The teams didn't play a year ago.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.