SANFORD — They came into Cobb Stadium winless, but exited with smiles, fist pumps and handshakes for everyone.

The Sanford High Spartans turned in a dominating performance in their home opener Friday night – a 25-0 shutout of South Portland.

“We were definitely ready for this,” said tailback Peter Hegarty, who rushed 13 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. “Good week of practice and high intensity tonight.”

While Sanford (1-2) entered the win column, the Red Riots (2-1) lost for the first time.

“Too early in the season to look at an 0-2 team (as down). Sanford is a good football team,” South Portland Coach Steve Stinson said. “They punched us in the mouth and kept us off balance.”

Sanford controlled the game with an offense directed by quarterback Frankie Veino, who completed 8 of 12 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.

An assortment of misdirection runs kept South Portland off balance, and when the Red Riots geared for the run, Veino would step back and drill the ball in for a completion.

“He’s got a cannon of an arm and he’s accurate,” Hegarty said.

Sanford held the ball for 29 minutes and five seconds, compared to South Portland’s 18:55 of possession. The Spartans outgained the Red Riots 410-179, and 110 of South Portland’s yards came in the fourth quarter.

“We got better in every phase of the game,” Sanford Coach Mike Fallon said.

And a lot of Spartans contributed, with seven ball carriers and five receivers, paced by Ty Laviolette (two catches, 74 yards, one touchdown) and Ryan Pepin (three catches, 31 yards). James Roche finished with 51 yards rushing and a 26-yard TD reception.

Senior lineman Haris Layn was a constant force on both sides of the ball, and got help from Jeremiah Zoellner, Michael Lunny and Nick Works.

South Portland recorded only three first downs in the first three quarters.

Sanford took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when it drove 73 yards in 11 plays, capped by Hegarty’s 3-yard run. Hegarty also kicked the extra point.

In the second quarter, Sanford enjoyed another long march, going 82 yards in 12 plays, including two key completions – an 11-yard fourth-down pass to Pepin, and 26 yards to Roche for the touchdown. The extra-point try was no good, and the Spartans led 13-0 at halftime.

Sanford received to begin the second half. On the fourth play, Hegarty broke loose for a 62-yard touchdown.

The Spartans struck again on their next possession, as Veino fired a strike to Laviolette for a 47-yard touchdown and a 25-0 lead.

South Portland was led by running back Spencer Houlette, who had 23 carries for 122 yards.

South Portland players were questioned Thursday by school administrators about possible drug abuse, and the team didn’t practice. Stinson said it was too early to tell if that incident distracted the team.

“Sanford played a great game and we got outplayed on the football field,” said Stinson.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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