PORTLAND — The 100th Thanksgiving Day football game will be remembered for pregame and halftime pageantry, penalties and turnovers, Deering’s dominance and ill will at the end.

Matt Flaherty passed for two touchdowns and the defense came up big as Deering shut out Portland 33-0 to win the centennial Turkey Day game under sunny skies Thursday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

But the ending marred the milestone game.

Both teams started shoving and pushing on the field with 45 seconds remaining.

After Deering (7-4) scored with 46.4 seconds left to lead 33-0, Portland (2-7) elected to kick off to the Rams. Teams have the option to receive or kick. The move was Portland Coach Mike Bailey’s response to his belief that Deering was running up the score.

Bailey called Deering’s touchdown “a classless act.”

“They already had the game won,” he said. “I would have taken the knee in that situation, but I guess their coaching staff does things differently.”

So Bailey opted to give the ball back to Deering.

“They want to score so much, I gave them another chance,” said Bailey.

Following the players’ melee, it appeared officials had decided to end it with 45 seconds left. Deering walked to the Deering Avenue end zone while Portland was milling around.

After a few seconds of uncertainty, referee Mike Discatio called Deering back and the final seconds were played.

Afterwards, players formed a line for the customary handshakes and everyone was on their best behavior. But the head coaches didn’t shake hands.

Discatio said he didn’t end the game early. Deering Coach Jon Gallant said he thought the officials had, saying the game had gotten out of hand.

“We didn’t end it with time left,” said Discatio. “For the game to end before time has expired without the officials stopping it, both coaches have to agree on doing it. Deering wanted to end it. Portland didn’t. If Deering had refused to play the final seconds, they would have had to forfeit.”

It was a weird ending and most likely unprecendented in the long history of this game.

Gallant called the ending “disgusting,” referring to Portland’s actions.

“We were running our offense, keeping the ball on the ground. We got the ball with five minutes remaining. What are we supposed to do, take a knee for five minutes? It was an embarrassing end to the game,” he said.

“Their coaching staff was out of control. Earlier in the game there was some pushing and shoving after a point-after on the second touchdown. Their coaches are yelling at me. All I was doing was trying to get my players off the field. It was an embarrassment to high school football.”

Gallant also said he wanted Trey Thomes to score a touchdown.

Thomes had a couple of chances earlier when the Rams threatened but couldn’t get in.

“Trey is a senior,” said Gallant. “He’s worked hard for three years and deserved to get one.”

And then there was the game .

Flaherty, a senior, passed for 205 yards on 16 of 23 completions. He threw touchdown passes of 3 yards to James Doyle to make it 12-0 with 49 seconds left before halftime and hit Chorda Chon with a 25-yard score in the third quarter. He then passed to Chon in the corner of the end zone on a 2-point conversion to make it 20-0.

The Rams scored on their first possession of the game on a 5-yard run by Nick DiBiase.

“We played really well,” said DiBiase. “All the seniors really pulled through.”

Late in the fourth quarter, senior tackle Alex Stilphen of Deering picked up two consecutive fumbles and gained some yardage in his only chances to run in three seasons.

“I really didn’t know what to do on the first one,” said Stilphen. “I thought I should have scored on the second.

“Our season didn’t end the way we wanted it to with the loss in the playoffs, but winning on Thanksgiving is a good way to go out. As a senior it was an honor to play in the 100th game.”

Bailey acknowledged that Deering’s defense dominated. The Bulldogs made only two first downs in the first half and five for the game. They never threatened.

“Their defensive line outplayed our offensive line,” said Bailey. “I thought we played well on defense but we couldn’t get anything going on offense. That’s the way it’s been all season.”

Junior Kenny Sweet of Deering returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. He also recovered a fumble and had a 33-yard run that led to the Rams’ third score.

Sweet won the Merv Kilgore Trophy as his team’s MVP.

Seamus Kilbride won the Vinnie Allen Trophy as Portland’s MVP.

Stilphen was named the winner of the James Banks Unsung Player Award.

It was Deering ninth win in the last 10 holiday games. Portland leads in the series, which began in 1911, 54-39-7.

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

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Twitter: TomChardPPH