Deering’s Mason Kaserman makes a catch during the Rams’ 41-28 win at Edward Little Friday.
Deering and Portland’s football teams earned key victories in the penultimate weekend of the regular season, while Cheverus, despite a strong effort, lost at Scarborough.
Deering suffered a 14-0 home loss to Oxford Hills in week six, due in part to an injury to standout quarterback Nate Richards. The Rams then had to travel to Edward Little Friday and got off to a strong start.
Three first-quarter fumbles led to 14 Rams points and that was too much for the Red Eddies to overcome. Deering got a break when it looked like Edward Little was going to score first, but fumbled instead. The Rams’ ensuing drive was finished by Ryan Walsh’s 31-yard touchdown run that made it 7-0. Following another fumble, Walsh scored from 3 yards out. Deering added another touchdown on a 19-yard pass from quarterback Joe Pelletier to Robbie Dacey on fourth down, and the Rams’ lead was up to 20-0.
Edward Little pulled within 20-8 at halftime, but Walsh scored the first two touchdowns of the second half, first on a 17-yard fourth-down pass, then on a 65-yard interception return that made it 33-8.
Walsh finished with 179 yards rushing and two scores on 28 carries to go along the receiving and interception return touchdowns.
“We had our best player out and we just needed to step up and get it done,” Walsh said. “Honestly, our offensive line scored most of those touchdowns. They blocked and I ran behind them. They brought us all the way, they really did.”
“The right kids stepped up,” Deering coach Jason Jackson said. “Ryan Walsh came out and did what he does. He’s tough, hard-nosed and that’s exactly what we needed.”
Edward Little closed the gap to 33-22 early in the fourth quarter, but Pelletier ran in a touchdown from 11 yards to make it 41-22 and put it away. The Red Eddies added one final TD to account for the 41-28 final score.
Deering (now 3-4 and fifth in the Class A South Crabtree Points standings) closes the regular season at home versus 5-2 Scarborough Friday night in a game that has huge implications for playoff positioning. Last year, the Rams won, 27-7, at Scarborough.
Portland’s loss to Scarborough on Opening Night seems like forever again and the defending regional champions continued to solidified their hold on the top seed in Class A North with an easy win over Bangor.
The Bulldogs held a 35-0 lead after the first quarter, as Issiah Bachelder blocked a punt which Richard Farnsworth returned for a touchdown, Bachelder threw TD passes to Vinny Pasquali, Jake Knop and Griffin Foley and he kept it for a 1-yard run. By halftime, the advantage was 56-0, thanks to two long Bachelder runs and another from Ethan Hoyt. A long TD scamper from Dylan Bolduc, the top rusher in the region, produced Portland’s final points in the third period and while the Rams scored in the fourth, the Bulldogs cruised, 63-7, to improve to 68-46-15 all-time in the series which began in 1893.
Bachelder threw for 210 yards and ran for 125 more and made the huge early play on special teams. Placekicker Quinn Clarke had nine extra points in the game, one shy of a program record which dates back a century.
Portland (6-1 and first in the Crabtrees) closes its regular season in the “Battle of the Bridge” at 2-5 South Portland Saturday afternoon. The Red Riots lead the all-time series which dates to 1907, 54-43-3, but last year, the Bulldogs prevailed, 31-0, at home.
Cheverus was hoping to make a statement on the road when it went to talented Scarborough Friday.
The Red Storm took leads of 7-0 and 14-7, but each time, Jack Casale connected with his cousin, Dominic Casale, for TD passes (the first 5-yards, the second from 33 yards out) to forge a 14-14 tie at halftime.
The Stags couldn’t score in the second half, however, and a pair of touchdown runs from Scarborough allowed the Red Storm to win, 27-14.
Cheverus fell to 4-3 and third in Class A North. The Stags close the regular season at home versus 5-2 Windham Saturday. Last fall, Cheverus dropped two tough decisions at Windham, 19-15, in the regular season finale and 28-0 in the semifinals.
The winner will likely be the No. 2 seed and have a bye into the semifinals. The loser will play in a quarterfinal the weekend of Oct. 28-29.
Sun Journal assistant sports editor Lee Horton contributed to this story.