PORTLAND – One minute unbeaten Cheverus looked like it would be trailing. The next minute the Stags had a lead.

The early drama unfolded when Cheverus running back Donald Goodrich fumbled on the first play of the game. But the next time he ran with the ball, he raced 88 yards for a touchdown.

And like most Cheverus performances this season, the scoring didn’t end there. The top-seeded Stags took control after their early mishap and beat No. 8 Deering, 49-0, in the quarterfinal round of the Western A playoffs Saturday at Boulos Stadium.

The two-time defending state champs won their Class A record 33rd straight game and will go for No. 34 Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against No. 5 Portland.

After the opening series mistake, Cheverus scored on its next seven possessions, overlapping the two halves.

Fullback Cody O’Brien scored three touchdowns and rushed for 123 yards on 17 carries. Goodrich scored twice and had 241 yards on just 11 carries. The Stags only passed once.

Deering (3-6) lost to Cheverus 21-0 a week ago in the regular-season finale. That boosted the Rams’ confidence, but that feeling disappeared in the opening minutes when they had a first-and-goal at the one. Two running plays gained nothing. On third down, Deering fumbled and Goodrich recovered.

Cheverus (9-0) took over on the four. Two runs by O’Brien gained eight. On third down, Goodrich ran left, found a seam thanks to a great move on a Deering defender and went 88 yards down the sideline for the score.

“If Deering had scored, it certainly would have boosted their confidence and made it a different game,” said Cheverus Coach John Wolfgram. “We showed a lot of will on the goal line.

After Cheverus stunned the Rams with the long touchdown run, it held Deering on downs and was back on the attack.

The Cheverus line was opening big holes in the middle for O’Brien while the sweep with Goodrich was reaping huge chunks of yardage.

O’Brien scored on a 1-yard run late in the opening quarter. The Stags scored 28 points in the second quarter to lead 42-0 at halftime. Quarterback Liam Fitzpatrick went eight yards for a touchdown. O’Brien scored his second to make it 28-0. Goodrich added his second and O’Brien his third to end the half.

Reserve halfback Joe Fitzpatrick scored on a 2-yard plunge early in the third for the final points.

The game marked the return of senior co-captain Brent Green, a fullback/linebacker. Green fractured the bottom of his femur and the top of his tibia in his left leg against Bonny Eagle three weeks ago and had missed the previous two games. He gained 23 yards on five carries.

Once again, Kenny Sweet was Deering’s offense. The halfback turned quarterback carried the ball 20 times for 85 yards, often dragging tacklers.

He recovered Goodrich’s fumble on the first play at the 34. On fourth down, he ran 27 yards to the one to give the Rams a shot at a quick lead.

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

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