Portland felt it missed a couple of chances in the first half of the Thanksgiving Day football game Thursday.

Then came the second half and the Bulldogs cashed in, pulling away to a 36-7 victory over Deering in their 103rd annual holiday game at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Led by the running of George Chaison-Lapine and a defense that didn’t allow Deering across midfield until the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs dominated for their second straight Thanksgiving victory.

“We should have scored two or three more touchdowns in the first half,” said Portland Coach Jim Hartman. “Deering played us tough in the first half. We usually capitalize on our chances in the second half.”

Portland led 15-0 at halftime, then scored 14 points in less than a minute to start the second half.

Chaison-Lapine, who rushed for 134 yards on 20 carries, returned the second-half kickoff 65 yards to the 15, then scored on first down.

Deering fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Ethan Hoyt recovered for the Bulldogs at the 12. On second down, Domenic Fagone scored on a counter play.

Fagone then intercepted a pass at the Deering 46 and the Bulldogs scored in 10 plays. Quarterback Jordan Talbot beat the Rams’ defense to the corner of the end zone from 7 yards and John Williams’ PAT made it 29-0.

Chaison-Lapine, a junior, got outside on sweeps and used some nice cutbacks to gain extra yardage. When he wasn’t outrunning pursuers, he was overpowering.

“We have great backs,” said Fagone.

Of his defense’s stout play, Fagone said: “We’ve played well all year on defense.”

He also said winning his final football game in a Portland uniform was “awesome. It’s a day I’ll remember.”

Deering had some early and late passing success. Two of its best completions came in the first half but were called back by penalties. Portland harassed quarterback Max Chabot throughout.

Deering played without Coach Matt Riddell, who resigned earlier this week, citing family concerns.

“Our coaching staff had to scramble to get ready for the game,” said Chabot. “I feel the players did a good job of sticking together.”

The field was cleared of snow by city crews and was very playable. After a Thanksgiving Eve storm dumped several inches of heavy, wet snow throughout southern Maine, workers started clearing snow early in the morning.

“We chipped away some ice when we came onto the field for warmups,” said Fagone. “It was a little icy at first but the sun melted it away.”

The Bulldogs stopped Deering’s opening drive on a Jake Knop interception. Taking over on its 40, Portland scored in seven plays.

Chaison-Lapine ran for 7 yards, followed by an 8-yard run by Joe Esposito. Talbot ran for 15 yards on second down. A holding penalty pushed Portland back to the 29, but two plays later Talbot passed to Knop for a 27-yard score.

Early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs dropped Chabot in the end zone for a safety and an 8-0 lead. Portland got the ball on the free kick and from the Deering 47, scored in six plays. Chaison-Lapine had 42 of those yards on three carries. Talbot scored from the 1 to make it 15-0 after Williams’ point after.

Deering averted a shutout when freshman Keegan Meas-Stanton returned a fumble 71 yards for a touchdown with 19 seconds left.

“We got time off from our last game, which gave us plenty of time to prepare,” said Chaison-Lapine. “The offensive line did a great job.”

Hartman said the Bulldogs changed their offense and defense for the game.

“We went with an I-formation and a 43 defense,” he said.