PORTLAND – It was not the cleanest game of the season for either Cheverus High or Deering on Friday night. But it may have been exactly what both teams needed.

Top-ranked Cheverus needed long touchdown runs by Spencer Cooke and Donald Goodrich in the third quarter and defensive stops throughout the game to upend Deering 14-0 at Memorial Field.

For the Stags, who finished the regular season 8-0, it was the second consecutive game in which they were pushed, something that should help when the Western Class A playoffs open next week.

“It gives us a real check of what’s going on,” said Christian Deschenes, a senior tackle for the Stags. “We can’t take anything for granted. We’ve got to play to win every game.”

For the Rams (5-3), who were missing wide receiver Renaldo Lowry and tight end James Doyle because of concussions, it was a much better effort coming off a 41-7 loss the previous week.

“Our whole thing this week was just getting our attitude right,” said Deering Coach Jon Gallant. “Getting that edge back. Getting that attitude.”

It was obvious from the start, when Chhorda Chorn returned the opening kickoff 51 yards, that Deering was going to be aggressive. But the Rams committed too many errors — nine penalties, a couple bad snaps and two interceptions — against a tough Cheverus defense.

The Stags, meanwhile, were pinned in their own end for much of the first half, starting their first three drives at their 10, 7 and 15. But they relied on their defense to keep the game scoreless after two quarters.

Twice late in the second quarter Deering had the ball inside the Cheverus 30. But Goodrich, a defensive end, had four sacks on those two series to push the Rams back.

“I think a big part of it was our kick game was good in the second half, very good,” said Cheverus Coach John Wolfgram. “Their kick game kept us in a hole in the first half.”

With field position, the Stags didn’t need much time to score — just 2:03 into the third quarter. Beginning at its 31, Cheverus scored in four plays, the touchdown coming on a 52-yard run by Cooke.

He ran behind Deschenes on the left, bounced off a tackle at the line, shrugged off another tackle at the Deering 40 and sprinted into the end zone. Louie DiStasio’s kick made it 7-0.

Deering would make another charge, moving to a fourth-and-4 at the Stags’ 19. There, Goodrich stopped Trey Thomes three yards short of a first down.

“We really come together in those moments,” said Goodrich, who also batted down a pass in the fourth. “We love those moments. That’s when we see our family come together, brothers on the team, stepping up to make a play for each other.”

Cheverus took over and scored in six plays.

On third-and-13 from the Cheverus 41, Goodrich took a counter around right end, cut to the middle, made a move on a defensive back and ran untouched to the end zone with 2:02 left in the third.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH