KITTERY – Traip Academy sent a clear message on its first possession. Stopping the Rangers on third down isn’t enough. They will use all four.

Traip converted three fourth downs in its opening drive, including a 16-yard scoring pass from Matt Clifford to Cam Cavanaugh, and was on its way to a 21-0 victory over Boothbay Region in a Western Class C football game Saturday at Memorial Field.

“We had the ball first and we wanted to score. We play to win,” Traip Coach Rob Ross said. “If you want to win, you’ve got to make those short fourth downs. That’s what winners do.”

While the fourth-and-long conversion was a great way to end the drive, it started when Ross chose to go on fourth-and-2 from his 34.

“We go for it all the time. We’re ready to work. We trust our linemen,” said running back Tyler Nay. “We know when it’s fourth down on the 40 is when it matters. That’s going to be a game-changer for us.”

Nay picked it up with a bruising 6-yard carry and the tone was set.

Traip’s offense was only stopped by the goal line in the first half: three possessions, three touchdowns, drives of 17, 11 and 12 plays.

“They’re a big, strong football team and we had a hard time with that in the first half,” Boothbay Coach Bryan Dionne said. “We played better in the second half.”

Both teams were coming off two-touchdown road losses in the opening week, Traip at Maranacook 22-6 and Boothbay at Winslow, a former Eastern Class B team, 20-7.

“Last week we controlled the clock but we made mistakes inside the red zone against Maranacook and they killed us in the end,” Ross said. “We made one today but we overcame that.”

Nay ran for 89 of his team-high 95 yards in the first half. He was backed up by his cousin, Cory Aldecoa, a Freeport transfer.

Aldecoa showed a combination of patience and hole-hitting burst while gaining 85 yards on 14 carries. Devon Draker (12-31) and Nick Dulac (10-24) added more tough runs in the middle that added to the pounding of Boothbay’s defense led by lineman Linc Simmons and tenacious 5-foot-8, 159-pound outside linebacker Aaron Weston.

Traip quarterback Matt Clifford completed a modest 3-of-8 passes but each completion mattered. The first and third were touchdowns to Cavanaugh, the second with 18 seconds left in the half. The second was a 14-yarder on fourth down to Dulac to put the ball on the Boothbay 1, setting up Draker’s scoring run.

“We always have a great running game and the passing, it opens up a bunch of new things we can call (to) try to get the defense off balance and see what happens,” Cavanaugh said.

In the second half, two forced fumbles halted Traip’s offense but the defense continued to control the game, holding Boothbay to 100 total yards.

“We’ve got a game next week where these guys (from Yarmouth) always go 100 percent and I don’t think we got to that 100 percent level this week. But we’ve got to get there if we’re ever going to contend with Yarmouth,” Ross said.

“We went a little faster today but we didn’t go 100 percent. I’m proud of the effort but they’ll see on film we need to go that 20 percent more.”