GORHAM — The minutes and seconds couldn’t tick off the clock fast enough to allow the Gorham boys’ soccer team to relax Monday night in a Class A South semifinal against Scarborough.

“That clock was really running slow there toward the end, for sure. It felt like we were hanging on,” Gorham Coach Tim King said. “You don’t take the champs out easily.”

In an evenly matched game, the ball rolled Gorham’s way as the top-seeded Rams defeated the defending regional champion, 3-1.

Gorham (15-0-1) will host No. 6 Portland in the regional final Wednesday.

No. 4 Scarborough ended its season 12-4. The Red Storm hadn’t fallen short of the regional final since 2010, winning three regional titles and two state championships.

“I don’t think the score was indicative of how we played at all, but that’s soccer sometimes,” Scarborough Coach Mark Diaz said. “You’ve got to give them credit – they finished on their opportunities.”

The Red Storm controlled the first eight minutes of the game, keeping the ball on the Rams’ half of the field. But Gorham struck first, at 8:54, as Ethan Orach scored on his team’s first shot, arcing it over Scarborough keeper Chris Franklin’s fingertips.

“No goalie is going to save that,” King said. “That’ll happen many times in our games where we may not have possession of the ball, but when we get it, we’ve got guys who can really go.”

About 12 minutes later, Jackson Fotter cushioned Gorham’s lead after Andrew Rent threw the ball in to Kyle King, who flicked it to Fotter.

“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Fotter said.

“The second one was just a quick turn and a shot,” King said. “It bounced our way. We haven’t had a lot of bounces go our way against them (Scarborough) over the years, so we’ll take that, for sure.”

The Red Storm created plenty of chances in the first half. They failed to capitalize on six corner kicks and outshot Gorham 10-6, with one of their shots bouncing off the crossbar. But Gorham keeper Alex York and the Rams’ defense kept the Red Storm off the board, and Gorham went to halftime up 2-0.

“Some were deflected, and they made some great defensive plays,” Diaz said. “We did have some quality looks. To win games like this, things have to go your way, too. Tonight, they didn’t.”

Ryan Firman added another goal for the Rams with 33:52 left, tucking the ball into the right corner for a 3-0 lead.

“It was a team goal – I just happened to be at the end of it,” Firman said. “We found Tyler (Richman) – our other center mid – he slipped me in, I got it out on my feet. I didn’t really know where the goal was, but I put it there.”

Marc Guerette answered nine minutes later to put the Red Storm on the board, but Gorham protected its lead from there.

York recored seven saves for the Rams, and Franklin finished with five saves for the Red Storm.

“My guys never quit. I was really proud of that,” Diaz said. “They did everything I could have asked for.”

King said his team earned the win.

“We had a couple great, great plays, and we scored goals on counterattacks,” King said. “I was proud of my guys tonight. I thought they really fought hard.”

The Rams will play Portland for their first regional title since 1983. Gorham shut out Portland 3-0 late in the regular season. But the Bulldogs (12-3-2) have come alive in the playoffs, upsetting the second and third seeds – Falmouth and Deering.

Gorham is not immune to upsets – the Rams ended their previous two seasons with quarterfinal losses to lower-ranked teams.

“Portland is tough. This is going to be a whole new game, there is no doubt about it,” King said. “I saw them against Falmouth; they look very strong and confident. We’re going to have to bring it.”

BANGOR 2, MT. ARARAT 1: Garth Berenya converted a cross from Carson Atherley 13 minutes into the first half, and the second-seeded Rams (14-1-1) held on to beat the third-seeded Eagles (13-3) in a Class A North semifinal in Bangor.

The Rams extended their lead on a goal by Josh Sherwood with nine minutes remaining.

Max Spelle scored a late goal for Mt. Ararat.

Bangor hosts fifth-seeded Camden Hills (11-4-1) in the regional final Wednesday.