SOUTH PORTLAND — It turns out Jake Poole was not ready for the age of specialization.

Running for 206 yards and two touchdowns as South Portland beat Massabesic 37-20 on Friday night in Class A South football game at Martin Memorial Field was a lot more fun than spraying line drives in a batting cage.

Poole decided against playing football last fall as a junior in an effort to improve his baseball skills.

“I realized it was a mistake,” Poole said. “I just wanted to play with my brothers again. It was a blast. To go out there with your best friends and get a big W, nothing better than that.”

Poole, a senior quarterback, also completed 12 of 20 passes for 102 yards and the game’s first touchdown, a 16-yard slant to Jimmy DiBiase.

The Red Riots (1-1) scored on their first three possessions against a Massabesic squad that last tasted victory 12 games ago, in the fall of 2015.

Poole connected on eight of his first 10 passes as South Portland built a 20-0 lead at halftime. He was picked off twice by Noah McGrath, however, and after halftime he stuck mainly to the ground, carrying 26 times and scoring on runs of 22 and 5 yards.

“He’s come a long way during our summer program and our preseason,” South Portland Coach Steve Stinson said of Poole. “He’s starting to really be super effective on the ground. He just has a motor that doesn’t quit, and he has a lot of heart.”

Poole was complemented by senior running back Spencer Houlette, who gained 88 yards on 17 carries and scored on runs of 1 and 15 yards. Zack Johnson was 4 for 5 on PAT kicks (his first bounced off the left upright) and made a 33-yard field goal.

The Red Riots were coming off a 34-21 loss at Lewiston in which they turned the ball over five times.

“We hiccupped a lot last week,” Stinson said. “(Friday night), we just ran our stuff full-speed right from the opening play, on both sides of the ball.”

Massabesic (0-2) got on the board late in the third quarter when Isaac DesVergnes caught a pass deep down the middle and spun from the grasp of two defenders to complete a 48-yard touchdown reception from sophomore quarterback Nick Roberge.

DesVergnes and Roberge connected again for 61 yards in the final two minutes. The Mustangs also scored on a 55-yard run by Owen Roberts.

“We did do some good things in the second half,” Massabesic Coach Brooks Bowen said. “The guys that keep showing up and keep working hard are learning some lessons they’re going to carry with them for a lifetime, but I think that everyone would agree, (the losing streak is) getting old.”

During warmups, a rainbow appeared on the horizon.

“Jake,” Houlette said to Poole. “Look at the rainbow. It’s a perfect day for football.”

Friday night under the lights of your home field with your best buds? Poole couldn’t agree more.

“We worked out every morning, all summer, and it finally paid off (Friday),” Poole said. “We played like a family and we won as a team.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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