GORHAM — It looked like Gorham High would never get the ball, the way Noble ate up the clock on its first drive.

But when the Rams did get their chance on offense, they never stopped. Gorham scored on its first four possessions and cruised to a 35-7 romp.

Both teams are 1-1.

The win ends an 18-game losing streak for Gorham, which lost a one-point heartbreaker last week at Mt. Ararat.

“We came out to practice this week, and we knew a couple plays either way can change a game,” said senior quarterback and captain Jack Niles, who engineered the Rams’ offense flawlessly, including a 1-yard sneak for a touchdown.

“We played every single play tonight. We were focused.”

Adam McKenney, a 5-foot-4 senior, broke free for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.

“The blocking was amazing, as you can tell,” McKenney said. “In previous years, it hasn’t been there, but it’s there now.”

McKenney and 5-6 sophomore back Tyler Rollins alternated every other play. Rollins showed his own bursts of speed, with nine carries for 50 yards and a touchdown.

“Our backs run hard. They run, run, run,” Gorham Coach Andy Hager said. “The line works hard and our fullback (Hunter Poitras, two carries, 22 yards and a TD) did a great job, too.”

Hager had to wait for his offense to get on the field. The Knights took the opening kick-off and marched 46 yards on 13 plays, running 7:10 off the clock.

“That was what we planned for all week,” Noble Coach Kelly Smith said.

The drive stalled on a fourth-down incompletion at the Gorham 24, however, and the Rams’ offense ran onto the field.

“Thirteen plays is a long time,” Hager said. “They kept grinding, but we finally got the ball back. I think that gave us a spark.”

Gorham needed only four plays to score, capped by McKenney’s 40-yard run. He zipped through a hole, then cut left and sprinted to the end zone. Jacob Benson followed with the first of his five extra-point kicks.

“Our backs are so quick through the hole, sometimes I get caught watching them,” Niles said.

Gorham rushed for 267 yards.

“We knew what was coming,” Smith said. “Our guys just weren’t able to execute like they did in practice. It’s unfortunate, but it does happen.”

Noble fumbled on its next two possessions, which led to Gorham touchdown drives of 32 and 35 yards.

“Mental mistakes,” Smith said. “Hopefully we’ll learn from it.”

Gorham led 28-0 at halftime after a 48-yard scoring drive. The offensive line of center Ethan Stump, guards Nate Burchill and Kyle Ouillette, and tackles Ryan Norris and Holden Edwards dominated.

On defense, Burchill and Norris led the charge on the line, along with Luke Tarbox and Aaron Mains.

After the Knights’ opening drive, they gained only 47 more yards until Matthew Beersworth’s 69-yard touchdown run with 5:12 left.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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