CAPE ELIZABETH – After spending half the game avoiding the end zone as if allergic, Cape Elizabeth overcame a slew of mistakes with a punishing ground game to overwhelm Falmouth 28-6 Friday night at foggy Hannaford Field.

Both Western Maine Conference football teams are 3-1.

The Capers racked up 100 yards in penalties, which stalled their first two drives, but they also had three 100-yard rushers.

Bruising Andrew Lavallee, the tackle-turned-fullback, rumbled for 146 yards on 22 carries.

Darting Donald Clark, who at 5-foot-5 and 145 pounds seems half the size of the 300-pound Lavallee, ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Slashing Derek Roberts, who can go inside or outside with equal success, ran for 105 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.

“I give that to our offensive line,” Lavallee said. “They just did a great job. Sure, they got some (holding) penalties, but they overcame them.”

If it sounds like Cape Elizabeth spent a lot of time on offense, consider the opening drive of the second half. The Capers ran the ball on 12 of 14 plays, drove 74 yards for a touchdown with Roberts slicing over left tackle for 11 yards, and chewed up 7 minutes, 33 seconds. They took a 14-6 lead after the second of four Matt Ross extra-point kicks.

For the entire game, Falmouth held possession for only 7:10.

Falmouth’s longest sustained drive lasted just six plays before a punt. Cape Elizabeth, by contrast, held possession for 40:06.

“They did a terrific job of controlling the game,” Falmouth Coach John Fitzsimmons said. “We have some nice weapons when we’re on the field … but you cannot be on defense three quarters of the game and expect to come out with a (win).”

Falmouth put those weapons to work on its opening drive, which took all of two plays and 15 seconds. Quarterback Matt Kingry connected with Ryan McDonald for 13 yards, then followed with a strike to Alex Derhagopian for a 44-yard touchdown.

The attempted PAT kick sailed wide, however, giving Falmouth a 6-0 lead that lasted until the final minute of the first half.

That’s when, after 12 consecutive runs, Cape quarterback Connor Maguire faked a handoff and lofted a 12-yard touchdown pass to Roberts, who dragged his toes before crossing the end line with 51 seconds left.

So despite seven first-half penalties for 60 yards, despite a 32-yard touchdown pass to Roberts negated because of only six men on the line of scrimmage, despite a fumble at the 1 that Falmouth recovered in the end zone for a touchback, Cape Elizabeth took a 7-6 lead into the break.

“Congratulations,” Capers Coach Aaron Filieo told his team. “You just beat two teams. Now let’s go out in the second half and just beat one team.”

Three long scoring drives later, churning out yardage behind center Charlie Salerno, guards Kyle Snowden and Tom Harrington, and tackles Ross and Justin Hallowell, Cape Elizabeth proved itself dominant.

Falmouth ran only nine plays from scrimmage in the second half. Cape Elizabeth cut its penalties to four after the break.

“We have to eliminate the mistakes,” Filieo said. “When we get down into the playoffs, that’s the last thing you want to do, is lose a game because of penalties.”

Maguire completed only two passes, but both went for touchdowns. The second covered 28 yards to a wide-open Ned Melanson on a fourth-down play.

Clark scored from 4 yards out to cap a drive of 50 yards that started when Ross forced a fumble with his sack of Kingry and Harrington recovered.

Kingry finished with six completions for 134 yards but was intercepted twice, once by Austin Petsinger and once by Roberts.

“We had our fair share of penalties, but we don’t let that bother us,” Roberts said. “We’re definitely a team that doesn’t get down on ourselves.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH