SOUTH PORTLAND — South Portland went over the 50-point mark for the second straight game Friday night and didn’t need two overtimes to do it.
There was plenty of offense in regulation as Duncan Preston passed for six touchdowns and ran for another to lead South Portland to a 55-24 victory against Biddeford in a Western Class A football game.
A week ago the Red Riots (5-2) lost to Scarborough 58-57 in two overtimes. It looked like this one might be headed in that same direction early when neither team could stop the other.
Biddeford (4-3) scored on the opening drive of the second half to pull within 34-24, but South Portland scored the final 21 points.
Preston, equally adept at running and passing, completed 15 of 19 passes for 290 yards. Preston spread the wealth around as he usually does. Matt Stearns and Jordan Susi each caught two touchdown passes.
“I have some of the best receivers around,” said Preston. “We talk about spreading the ball around because we have playmakers. That’s what we focus on.”
Throwing six touchdown passes was a career high, but Preston downplayed it.
“It’s not hard to do with the receivers I have,” he said.
Both teams had a lot to play for, what with their winning records. Preston said both teams were hyped at the start.
“It was our Senior Night and my last game here under the lights,” he said. “It meant a lot to us, and obviously a lot to Biddeford because they never quit. It was a great game all around.
“Our defensive coordinator tore into us at halftime. We gave up a score at the start of the second half and then it was pedal to the metal after that. We couldn’t be stopped.”
The Tigers took the second- half kickoff and went 73 yards in seven plays to cut it to 34-24 on Lucas Rhoy’s 1-yard run.
The Riots then scored in five plays, with Preston reaching the end zone on a 25-yard run. The key play was a 25-yard pass to Joey DiBiase.
Later in the quarter, DiBiase ran 60 yards for a score to make it 48-24. South Portland added its last touchdown early in the fourth when Preston passed to Susi on a 33-yard play.
“The kids did a great job of making plays on offense and making the stops on defense,” said South Portland Coach Steve Stinson.
Susi and Hayden Owen had interceptions in the second half. The Riots also stopped the Tigers from scoring at the end of the first half when they got inside the 5.
Biddeford quarterback Casey Twomey also put up impressive numbers. He was 12 of 20 for 291 yards and two touchdown throws.
The Riots got the opening kickoff and scored in five plays. Preston opened the game with a 42-yard pass to DiBiase. Two plays later, he passed 20 yards to Susi for the touchdown.
Biddeford came right back and scored on a halfback option pass from Corey Creeger to Nate Ouellette covering 31 yards. But the Tigers missed the PAT, and it was 7-6.
The Riots then scored on four of their next five series. The Tigers stayed within striking distance with two more scores, one a 65-yard pass-run play from Twomey to Corey Brown. It was 34-18 at halftime.
“We made far too many mistakes to stay with as good a team as (South Portland),” said Biddeford Coach Brian Curit. “We worked on pass defense the whole week. It was frustrating. The kids competed and that’s what we expected.”
Both teams will finish their regular seasons with rivalry games.
South Portland plays at Portland next Friday night, and Biddeford travels to Thornton Academy on Saturday.
The Riots kept alive their hopes of getting the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and a first-round bye.
“I’m happy just getting into the playoffs,” said Preston.
South Portland missed the playoffs last year.
“But if we got the No. 1 or 2 seed, that would be awesome,” Preston said.
Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: