PORTLAND – Nick Volger rushed for one touchdown and returned an interception for another to lead Portland to a 12-8 victory over Gorham in a Western Class A football game Friday night at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Volger’s first touchdown covered 14 yards as the Bulldogs (2-1) took the lead on their first possession. The 54-yard drive lasted 10 plays and included a couple of pass completions by freshman quarterback Ryan Ruhlin.

“The first touchdown I scored was my second touchdown as an actual running back,” said Volger, a junior who also plays defensive back. “There was a great hole from my linemen.”

The Rams (1-2) answered early in the second quarter with a 59-yard drive capped by a 10-yard run by Nick Kilborn.

Damon Wallace connected with Kilborn for the 2-point conversion to give Gorham an 8-6 lead.

The Rams had a chance to increase their lead when they recovered a Portland fumble on the Gorham 39-yard line. They quickly pushed into Portland territory on runs by Jon Woods (16 yards) and Matt McKenney (11 yards) before Volger picked off Wallace’s pass and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown.

“I didn’t have very many tackles during the game but (I) and the other safety, Jason Webster, just stuck to our game plan,” said Volger. “I just saw the ball, reacted and made the pick.”

The Bulldogs went for a 2-point conversion but Volger was stopped on a running play, leaving the score 12-8 at halftime.

Gorham made a defensive stand to open the second half, aided by a holding penalty against the Bulldogs that erased a 30-yard run by quarterback Jayvon Pitts-Young.

The Rams mounted a nine-play drive deep into the Portland end before Wallace threw the second of three interceptions, another one by Volger, to end the drive.

“Volger was absolutely a difference maker,” said Portland Coach Mike Bailey. “What I like about it is he actually asked for the ball, and I love when athletes do that and come through like that.

“He was definitely pumped up and had a feeling of what was going on and it showed. He definitely had a great night.”

Portland went back to Pitts-Young at quarterback late in the game and he did an excellent job moving the ball on a drive that ate up most of the fourth quarter. The sophomore ran eight times for 60 yards during the sequence before the Bulldogs were stopped on downs on the Rams’ 13.

With time running out, Gorham went to the air from deep in their own zone as Wallace completed three of four passes before being picked off by Webster when he threw long into the Portland end in the final minute.

“I was pleased with our whole defense because that’s a very, very difficult offense to stop,” said Bailey.

“To hold them to eight points, I was very, very pleased with the young team.”