Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By Tom Chard firstname.lastname@example.org
PORTLAND - Cheverus' record 32nd consecutive high schol football victory didn't come in the usual way Saturday.
Jake Michaud, left, and Will Hilton of Cheverus combine to stop Ricardo Delgado of Deering from catching a pass. Interference was called on the play.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Sure, the Stags used stifling defense in shutting out Deering 21-0, but instead of pounding it on the ground, Cheverus went to the air for its points.
Liam Fitzpatrick passed for three touchdowns, two to Donald Goodrich, as Cheverus (8-0) tuned up for the Western Class A playoffs and quest for a third straight state title.
Deering (3-5) played Cheverus tough. The Stags found the going tough on the ground against the fired-up Rams, so Fitzpatrick went to the air, demonstrating a nice passing touch.
Cheverus will be top-seeded and home for the regional playoffs that begin next Saturday.
Tight end Ryan Casale caught Fitzpatrick's other touchdown pass, a 25-yarder with 8:33 left in the third quarter that made it 21-0.
"It was a good physical game," said Casale. "We've had them the last three weeks. It was fun playing in the mud today. We're ready to roll into the playoffs."
Goodrich and Kenny Sweet of Deering shared the running highlights. Sweet proved tough to bring down for Cheverus, but the Rams never threatened as the Stags delivered another stout defensive effort.
"The defense played great," said Casale, who doubles as a linebacker.
"We never get any credit," he said with a smile.
Cheverus tied the Class A consecutive-win streak a week ago against Thornton Academy and set a new standard by beating Deering. As a team, Cheverus has done its best to put the streak out of mind.
"Streaks are nice, but we have to focus on the most important thing and that's getting to the top. That's what we want to do," said Coach John Wolfgram.
"This is a smart, high-character group. We're very proud of what the kids have achieved in the regular season."
Goodrich caught a 23-yard pass down the sideline from Fitzpatrick to make it 6-0 with 3:33 left in the opening quarter.
The Stags made it 14-0 when Fitzpatrick and Goodrich teamed up again, this one covering 15 yards.
Deering stopped the Stags from scoring just before the half when Sweet intercepted a deflected pass.
Cheverus fumbled early in the game but the Rams couldn't capitalize. The Stags took a while to get going.
"We weren't as efficient in the first half as we could have been," said Wolfgram.
Sweet ran hard for the Rams. Defensively, nose tackle Tyler Wiggin and defensive end James Doyle, linebacker Dominic Esposito-Martin and Sweet were outstanding.
"We didn't back down and we battled," said Deering Coach Jon Gallant. "Cheverus is obviously a great team. That's been evident the last three years. It may not show it on the scoreboard but that's the best we've played. We just have to be more consistent."
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: