BIDDEFORD – All Lucas Rhoy needed was to look in the Waterhouse Field stands to understand what Friday night’s homecoming game with Sanford meant to Biddeford.
“It’s big to the community and all the other people around here,” said Rhoy, a sophomore running back for Biddeford High. “It meant a lot to us.”
And the Tigers played that way. Biddeford played aggressively from the start and jumped all over Sanford for a 28-6 win in a Western Class A game.
The Tigers converted two fourth-down plays into touchdowns on their first two drives.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game if we didn’t come out and smack them first,” said Corey Creeger, a Biddeford senior back. “We just came out and played like the family we are.”
The victory for the Tigers (4-2) set up a nice showdown with South Portland (4-2) next week. The Spartans (2-4) lost their fourth straight.
Rhoy scored touchdowns on runs of 1 and 4 yards and rushed for 118 yards, most coming on a 67-yard run on the second play of the third quarter.
But it was Biddeford’s defense that dominated this one. The Tigers sacked Sanford quarterback Chase Eldredge six times with a relentless rush. Linebackers Rhoy, Chhay Ouch, Dominic Day and Alix Chandler were outstanding for Biddeford.
Rhoy said the Tigers were well-prepared by their coaches in practice.
“This team has practiced hard, they paid attention to detail,” said Tigers Coach Brian Curit. “They understand how critical it is to play physical. For our kids, with their physical limitations weight-wise, that’s what they have to do.”
The Tigers came out fast. Two long runs by Creeger gave them a first-and-goal from the Sanford 9.
Four plays later, Rhoy pounded it in from the 1. Corey Brown’s kick made it 7-0.
Then, after the Tigers forced a punt, something curious happened. Creeger raised his hand to make a fair catch. The whistle never blew after he caught the ball so he took off — Sanford’s players raising their arms in disbelief — and gained 42 yards to the Spartans’ 28.
“I raised my hand,” said Creeger. “Then I realized no one was going to give it to me when the whistle didn’t blow, so I tried to go and get what I could.”
On fourth-and-1 from the 5, Biddeford lined up for a field- goal attempt. But Casey Twomey took the snap and peeled off to his right, finding Creeger in the end zone for a touchdown that made it 13-0 with 2:36 left in the first quarter.
Sanford Coach Mike Fallon dismissed the non-fair catch call.
“We got out-everythinged tonight,” said Fallon. “We got out-emotioned, we got outcoached, we got outplayed, we got outhustled. They did a great job. There’s nothing the officials did that affected the outcome of this game.
“I don’t think we were emotionally ready to play and that’s what happens. It’s a game of energy and we didn’t have very good energy at the start of the game and we paid the price.”
Sanford was without its top running back, Josh Schroder, but Fallon couldn’t comment on his absence.
Biddeford converted two more fourth-down plays on its next scoring drive.
Twomey (5-of-5 passing for 55 yards) threw a 30-yard pass to Nate Ouellette on fourth-and-7 from the Sanford 38. Then, on fourth-and-goal from the 1, Ouch plowed in for the touchdown. Twomey threw to Brown for the conversion and it was 21-0 at the half.
“It was a big game for us,” said Curit. “It was a big game for Sanford, too. That’s the way this league is.”
Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: