PORTLAND – Deering has shown in most of its games that it can score points in a hurry.

The third-seeded Rams did just that Friday night and went on to a 56-18 victory against sixth-ranked Thornton Academy in a Western Class A football quarterfinal at Memorial Field.

Deering (7-2) advanced to next weekend’s semifinals at second-ranked Bonny Eagle.

Deering scored 16 straight points in the final three minutes of the first half to break a 12-12 tie.

Then, after Thornton Academy (6-3) stayed in the game by scoring first in the second half to make it 28-18, the Rams cranked up their offense again with a 21-point third quarter.

Deering took advantage of a botched fake punt in that sequence, scoring two plays later.

The Rams recovered two fumbles and intercepted three passes.

Deering’s offense again was led by quarterback Jamie Ross, who scored four touchdowns and kicked a 21-yard field goal.

John Hardy of the Rams opened the scoring with a 65-yard punt return, then caught a 46-yard scoring pass from Ross with 1:35 left in the second quarter.

Hardy also intercepted a pass in the third quarter that led to a Ross score.

“We had to get the bad taste from last week’s game out of our mouths,” said Hardy. “We wanted to prove that we’re a good football team. We’re a big-play team and we rallied behind them.”

Last Saturday, with the top seed for the playoffs on the line, unbeaten Cheverus defeated Deering, 44-14.

The Rams quickly put that loss behind them against Thornton, which also showed early in the game that it had come to play.

But two lost fumbles in the waning moments of the first half put the Golden Trojans in a hole, and they simply couldn’t recover.

“We’ve been doing that in the second half of the season,” Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal said of the turnovers. “You can’t give a team 16 points in the final minutes of a half.”

Deering Coach Greg Stilphen liked the way his team started.

“I thought we got out of the gates well,” he said. “I thought we were very physical in the first half. Thornton gave us the short field a few times and we took advantage. You have to give them credit, coming out in the second half and scoring.”

After Deering took a 6-0 lead, Thornton tied it on an 11-yard pass from Josh Woodward to Dimitri Skinsacos.

The Rams regained the lead 12-6 on a 10-yard run by Ross. The Trojans responded again when Woodward scored on a 14-yard run.

A Thornton fumble led to Ross’ field goal with 3:06 remaining in the half. After a Thornton punt, the Rams scored in three plays as Ross hit Hardy down the sideline. Hardy juggled the pass before hauling it in.

“Jamie threw a perfect pass,” said Hardy.

Just before halftime, Thornton wide receiver James Ek suffered a neck injury on a first-down pass. Medical personnel treated Ek before a Medcu ambulance arrived. He was taken to Maine Medical Center. Ek reportedly had movement in his hands before he left.


Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]