PORTLAND – Biddeford High made the big plays all night, starting with a fake punt in the first quarter, and stymied nearly everything Portland attempted.

It all added up to the Tigers’ most impressive performance of the season — a 35-7 victory in a Western Class A football game played in pouring rain Friday night at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The combination of quarterback Tyler Audie handing off to fullback Nick Gagne or Audie running himself had the Bulldogs (1-4) on their heels.

Gagne scored two touchdowns and had 85 yards on 25 carries. They had help from a supporting cast that included Ryan Webb, Josh Aube, Dan Tanguay, the defense and both lines.

“We hadn’t played a complete game all season,” said Coach Scott Descoteaux. “We played one tonight and that makes me feel good.”

It was a far different feeling for Biddeford from a 21-9 loss to Scarborough at home last week. Descoteaux cited a number of factors for the loss, including a lack of focus.

“It was a very emotional week of practice,” said Descoteaux. “I can finally have a good night’s sleep.”

The strong Biddeford teams of the past usually featured a quarterback who runs the option well and a hard-running fullback. The Tigers have that in Audie and Gagne. Combined they carried 43 times.

“We knew we had to come out and have a strong start,” said Audie. “We knew we had to play a complete game against a team we respected. We got a big push from both the offensive and defensive lines.”

The Tigers seized the momentum by converting three fourth-down plays on their first drive. The first came on a fake punt by Gagne, who ran 12 yards for the first down.

“When you have a runner with Nick Gagne’s ability, it’s not much of a gamble,” said Descoteaux.

Biddeford also kept its opening drive alive on a fourth-and-3 pass from Audie to Webb for 14 yards. The ball deflected off a Biddeford player to Webb. On the first play of the second quarter, Gagne scored from the 3. Connor Morrison’s point after made it 7-0.

A 31-yard kick return by Mike Herrick gave Portland good field position, and on third down Imadhi Zagon gained 15 yards. But penalties pushed the Bulldogs back and they were forced to punt.

Zagon had another 15-yard gain late in the game, but overall was limited to 52 yards on 12 carries by a swarming defense. With Zagon held in check and Portland unable to mount a passing game, the only highlight for the Bulldogs was Herrick’s 85-yard kickoff return early in the third quarter that cut Biddeford’s lead to 21-7.

Aube ran 63 yards with the second-half kickoff to set up Biddeford’s third touchdown. After a holding penalty and an incomplete pass, Webb took an inside handoff and scored from the 31 after a nice cutback. Gagne scored on a 4-yard run later in the third quarter to make it 28-7 after Morrison’s placement, and Webb ended the scoring with a 24-yard scoring run in the fourth.

The Tigers’ second touchdown came on a pass from Audie to Tanguay covering 5 yards with 3:36 remaining before halftime.

The win got the Tigers back on track for a York County schedule capped by the annual showdown with Thornton Academy on Oct. 22 at Biddeford. The Tigers are home against Sanford next Friday night.

After losing a three-point game to unbeaten Cheverus a week ago, Portland was hoping for a rebound.

“We couldn’t sustain anything on offense,” said Portland Coach Mike Bailey. “We didn’t block and tackle.”

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]