SOUTH BERWICK — Biddeford football coach Brian Curit used a baseball analogy Friday night after his Tigers stayed close for most of the game but lost 35-21 to Marshwood in a game between unbeaten Class B South teams.

“Their first two touchdowns were home runs,” Curit said.

Indeed, the Tigers’ defense looked like a solid pitcher who made crucial mistakes.

Marshwood running back Joe Taran broke free for a 36-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and added an 88-yard touchdown late in the second quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Justin Bryant scored from 49 and 25 yards.

“We had some big plays,” Marshwood Coach Alex Rotsko said. “They’re in man coverage, and counters are going to be successful if you execute.”

Those four plays accounted for 198 of Marshwood’s 302 rushing yards. Taran ended up with 130 yards on only five carries. Bryant rushed 11 times for 105 yards.

Both teams made their share of errors. Marshwood (3-0) was penalized 11 times for 95 yards. Biddeford (2-1) lost four turnovers, including a costly fumble in the third quarter.

Biddeford kept it close with an 80-yard drive that made it 14-7 at halftime. The Tigers answered a third-quarter Marshwood touchdown with an 89-yard kickoff return by Scott Spellman to cut their deficit to 21-14, but Marshwood finally pulled away with Bryant’s two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

“We were just not consistent in any phase of our game,” Curit said. “We scored a lot of points, but we didn’t seem to do much of anything.

“I’m very disappointed. We had a great week of practice, and this was not the kind of effort I expected.”

The disappointment began early when Marshwood’s Trevor Chase returned the opening kickoff 54 yards to the Biddeford 36.

The Hawks called for a counter on first down, and Taran burst through for a quick touchdown. Max Horton’s extra point made it 7-0.

“Joe does not miss the holes,” quarterback Tommy Springer said. “Those counters got them good.”

Late in the second quarter, on second-and-9 from their own 12, the Hawks went to Taran again.

“The hole was wide open and I just ran through it,” said Taran, who could have brought the rest of the backfield through the opening the line created.

Taran also recorded two interceptions.

Following Taran’s second touchdown, Biddeford drove for its first score. A 17-yard pass on fourth down from Carter Edgerton to Cody Saucier put the ball at the 1, and Cameron Lantagne scored with 24 seconds left in the half.

Lantagne was the Tigers’ workhorse, with 22 carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns.

Biddeford got the ball to start the second half and tried a fake punt on fourth-and-1 at midfield but was stopped inches short.

On the Tigers’ next possession, they lost a fumbled pitchout at their own 20. Marshwood cashed in with a 1-yard sneak by Springer for a 21-7 lead.

Spellman made it close again with his kickoff return, but Biddeford’s offense didn’t score again until a 1-yard run by Lantagne with 3:10 remaining, after the Hawks had opened a 35-14 cushion.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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