Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Tom Chard firstname.lastname@example.org
PORTLAND - Justin Zukowski scored three touchdowns and Jayvon Pitts-Young added two Friday night as Portland rolled to a 45-14 victory against Massabesic at Fitzpatrick Stadium in the opening night of high school football in the state.
Jake Desrochers of Massabesic, who finished with 57 yards on 13 carries, finds little room Friday night as Justin Zukowski, right, wraps him up and Andrew Green, left, moves in to assist for Portland at Fitzpatrick Stadium. Portland won the Western Class A opener, 45-14.
Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer
Jayvon Pitts-Young of Portland strives for the goal line but is stopped by Mike Risti of Massabesic during Portland’s 45-14 victory Friday night.
The Bulldogs made Coach Jim Hartman's debut a success. Portland unveiled a wing-T offense that scored 31 unanswered points after a 14-14 halftime tie.
The offense highlighted Portland's numerous threats. Quarterback Ryan Ruhlin scored the Bulldogs' first touchdown early in the second quarter and Abe Marr ended the scoring with a 47-yard touchdown run with just under four minutes remaining. The Bulldogs rolled up 488 yards.
"I love this offense," said Nick Volger, who had a 70-yard run early in the fourth quarter that led to a score. "It gets everyone involved. We have a bunch of seniors with experience who are looking to get to the playoffs. The line did a great job."
Zukowski scored on runs of 26, 8 and 12 yards, all in the fourth quarter. He finished with 144 yards on 23 carries and caught four passes for 69 yards.
"We stopped turning the ball over and played together as a team in the second half," said Zukowski. "We had some big holes. We have a long way to go. We just have to keep going."
Portland's line, led by veteran Kyle Reichert, wore down Massabesic in the second half.
"We did an amazing job," said Reichert. "I couldn't be prouder of the line. There's so much opportunity in this offense."
The Bulldogs had penalties go their way early. Massabesic had two long touchdowns called back in the first quarter.
A 69-yard touchdown run by Jake Desrochers was called back because of holding on the opening series.
Later the Mustangs had a 93-yard punt return by Casey Nava wiped out because of blocking from behind.
The Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard run by Ruhlin at 9:08 of the second quarter. Reichert booted the first of three straight PATs.
The Mustangs tied it moments later when quarterback Jake Desrochers hitting a wide- open Dan Welch in the middle of the field. The play covered 89 yards.
Pitts-Young scored on a 31-yard run as the Bulldogs regained the lead, but on first down Nava went 66 yards to make it 14-14 after Desrochers PAT.
It was all Bulldogs in the second half.
"Once we stopped making mistakes we were off to the races," said Hartman. "It's hard for the defense to cover everything in our offense. They have to give up something."
The Bulldogs scored on their second possession of the third quarter when Pitts-Young ran 14 yards.
The Bulldogs recovered two Massabesic fumbles on kickoffs, one by Zukowski and the other by Domenic Fagone.
Nava led the Mustangs in rushing with 87 yards on 10 carries, and Desrochers gained 57 yards on 13 carries.
Pitts-Young gained 102 yards on 13 carries for Portland.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:
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Justin Zukowski, who finished with three touchdowns for Portland, breaks away to pick up considerable first-half yardage at Fitzpatrick Stadium.