Three weeks ago, there was much hype for the Cheverus-Deering football game at Cheverus High.

So much for hype. The game quickly turned Cheverus’ way and ended up being a 44-14 rout.

The victory gave the Stags an unbeaten regular season, the top seed and home field for the Western Class A playoffs.

The longtime rivals will meet again at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Cheverus, this time for the regional title and a spot in the Class A state final Nov. 20 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Asked to assess the first meeting and his team’s 30-point victory, Cheverus Coach John Wolfgram said: “I think to be honest, Deering wasn’t emotionally into the game for some reason. They didn’t bring their ‘A’ game.

“The final score was not indicative of their team’s strength. They’re a good football team who we have the utmost respect for.”

Deering Coach Greg Stilphen has said his team didn’t get off the bus that day, meaning they weren’t emotionally ready to play.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “Cheverus is an excellent team. They’re very good at what they do. We have to be ready mentally playing a team like that.”

Since that loss, the Rams have been working at being better mentally prepared. And it looks like it’s working.

Deering has been strong in the playoffs with victories against Thornton Academy and Bonny Eagle. The win over Bonny Eagle was significant because the Scots beat them fairly easily in the regular season and the game was at Bonny Eagle. The Rams are looking to carry over the momentum.

They will have to come up with an answer to Cheverus running backs Spencer Cooke and Evan Jendrasko, who combined for 355 yards rushing in the first meeting.

The Rams also gave up two long touchdown passes that made it 24-0 at halftime. Overall, the Stags totaled close to 500 yards.

High school games, even the ones that look to be close going in, can turn on a dime. How teams handle the emotional swings often determine the outcome.

Deering will look to be in it emotionally throughout, while Cheve-rus hopes the things that worked the first time will work again.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]