Sanford’s Peter Hegarty (9) looks to make a move against South Portland’s Spencer Houlette (22) during the first half of the Spartans’ 25- 0 victory at Cobb Stadium in Sanford Friday night.

Sanford’s Peter Hegarty (9) looks to make a move against South Portland’s Spencer Houlette (22) during the first half of the Spartans’ 25- 0 victory at Cobb Stadium in Sanford Friday night.

SANFORD — Neither Sanford nor South Portland could get much going early in Friday night’s Class A South football clash, trading three- and- outs on the first three drives. Then the Spartans put a drive together and found the end zone. The Red Riots couldn’t do the same, instead failing to find paydirt in a 25- 0 Sanford victory at Cobb Stadium. The Spartans (1- 2) strung together 11 plays on their second drive, which was capped off by a 2- yard touchdown plunge by Peter Hegarty, who then converted the extra point. The Red Riots (2- 1), who were missing two senior starters, responded by gaining their initial first down of the game, but a drive that made it into Sanford territory stalled thanks to a false start and an incomplete screen pass on third down. Sanford got the ball back with less than a second left in the first quarter, then ate up half of the second- quarter time on a 13- play, 81- yard scoring drive. The Spartans survived a pair of fourth- down plays and a near turnover on the eventful drive. Frankie Veino found Ryan Pepin for an 11- yard gain on 4th- and- 10 from the South Portland 38- yard line that fueled the rest of the drive. “We got him vertical down the field, and Frankie delivered, and he made a great catch to move the sticks,” Sanford head coach Mike Fallon said of Pepin, who he said had a “great game.” The drive almost came to an end three plays later, as Veino and Hegarty had a bad connection on a handoff, but Veino fell on the loose ball. At least he did long enough for the whistle to get blown, as right after a South Portland player pulled the ball out from under Veino’s legs, but it was all for not for the Red Riots. Sanford still had to convert another fourth- down play, and Veino made the most of his second chance, connecting with James Roche near the left sideline, and Roche did the rest, shedding a would- be tackler on his way to a 26- yard touchdown catch. The point- after failed, and the Spartans offense fizzled in the red zone on its next drive, but still went into the half with a 13- 0 lead. The Red Riots ran just 21 plays in the first half, including four punts and four incomplete passes. “I felt defensively we were very physical. We did not allow them to beat us over the top. We defended the run very well,” said Fallon. “I thought we stonewalled them pretty good in the run game. They had trouble getting going.” The Spartans added a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter for the final margin. First, Hegarty ran 70 yards for a touchdown, and later in the period Veino hit Tye Laviolette for a 47- yard touchdown pass.

Sanford’s Nick Howard (36) pulls down South Portland’s Finn Zechman for a loss during the first half of the Spartans’ 25- 0 victory at Cobb Stadium in Sanford Friday night.

Sanford’s Nick Howard (36) pulls down South Portland’s Finn Zechman for a loss during the first half of the Spartans’ 25- 0 victory at Cobb Stadium in Sanford Friday night.

“We were able to carve out some space in the run game, which was good because it set up some play- action staff,” said Fallon. “I thought Frankie had a very, very good night tonight throwing the football. He was very accurate, made great decisions, and we had kids downfield that caught it.” Fallon said he was glad to get the monkey off his back in the team earning its first win of the year, especially after losing a heartbreaker to Deering last week. “Certainly, obviously, I think psychologically you feel a little better,” said Fallon. “I think a win like tonight, it does a lot for our team’s confidence level.” — Sports Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282- 1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.


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