Andrew Lavallee has become a force at fullback for Cape Elizabeth. The 300-pounder is a defender’s nightmare 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Asked how to tackle Lavallee, Cape Elizabeth Coach Aaron Filieo said, “We’re not giving away any team secrets, but I would suggest, bring a lot of friends.”

The Capers (3-1) have won three straight after dropping their opener to Wells. Only Mountain Valley and Wells have better records in Western Class B. Falmouth and Greely are also 3-1, but Cape beat Falmouth 28-7 last week.

This season, for the first time, eight teams will make the Western Class B playoffs.

Moving Lavallee to fullback (he also plays guard), might not have been possible without the development of junior Tom Harrington. When Lavallee is at fullback. Harrington replaces Lavallee in the line.

“Coming into the season, (Harrington) was kind of a man without a position,” said Filieo. “We had a lot of returning starters. He knew he was looking at a backup position. Despite that, Tom continued to work hard. He’s a big, strong kid who has worked in the weight room. He’s holding his own at guard.”

Filieo is always preaching to his players to be ready to step in because of injuries or other factors. In Harrington’s case, it wasn’t an injury that led to his opportunity, but an experiment that has paid off handsomely through four games.

Depending on the situation. Lavallee could be at guard.

“We go back and forth with him,” said Filieo. “A lot of pro teams put their big guys in the backfield during goal-line situations. For Andrew to get as many carries as he has, he had to be a runner and more than a moving barge.”

Lavallee rushed for 146 yards on 22 carries against Falmouth.

THE TOP MATCHUP in another busy night of football has Thornton Academy (3-1) at Deering (4-0) tonight. The Rams will be out to prove they can beat a quality opponent; Thornton Academy will be looking to do the same on the road. In their first road game, mistakes and injuries hurt the Golden Trojans in a 20-16 loss to South Portland on Sept. 9.

Deering’s wins are against teams with a combined record of 4-12. Thornton’s wins are against teams with a combined record of 2-10, although one was against Bonny Eagle in the opener. The Scots entered the season as one of the favorites but stumbled out of the gate. With last week’s 34-20 win at Scarborough, Bonny Eagle looks back on track and could become a playoff contender.

“We have another chance to play a quality team on the road,” said Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal. “We’ve played well at home but need to do it on the road.”

Kezal calls Deering a talented big-play team.

“They have a lot of kids who played in last year’s Western Maine final,” said Kezal. “Deering has some dynamite skill players. They’ve created big plays in every game so far.”

Deering will look to put together a strong four quarters.

“I don’t feel we’ve done that yet,” said Coach Jon Gallant. “Thornton has a lot of kids back from last season. I’ve been impressed with them on both sides of the ball.”

JORDAN RYSDAM of Brunswick is the fourth-leading rusher in Eastern Class A. He has gained 450 yards on 62 carries. Rysdam has seven rushing touchdowns.

Teammate Keith Kitchens has 348 yards on 46 carries and three touchdowns. Kitchens has caught three passes for 25 yards.

Trent Anderson of Brunswick is sixth in the class with six receptions for 90 yards.

Jason Carter of the Dragons ranks seventh in the conference in passing with 216 yards and one touchdown. Sam Bessey ranks third in tackles with 36 in four games.

Brunswick (3-1) plays at Cony (1-3) tonight.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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Twitter: TomChardPPH