Sanford’s Ryan Connarton takes a handoff from Ethan Emard on Friday. ALEX SPONSELLER/ JOURNAL TRIBUNE

Sanford’s Ryan Connarton takes a handoff from Ethan Emard on Friday. ALEX SPONSELLER/ JOURNAL TRIBUNE

SANFORD — After a quiet first half, the Sanford football team caught fire in the last 30 minutes to top rival Massabesic 35-7 at Cobb Stadium on Friday night.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Spartans would get things going in the second, picking up four-yard touchdown rush by Michael Lunny to take the 7-0 lead. Leyton Bickford would later haul in a 20-yard touchdown pass from running back Ryan Connarton, who passed off a lateral, to give the Spartans the 14-0 lead at half.

It took Sanford nearly 15 minutes to get on the board, much due to penalties. Sanford had four penalties in the first quarter alone.

“I haven’t seen that many flags in a football game in a long time, it was like 10 steps forward and 100 steps back,” said Sanford head coach Mike Fallon after the game. “We’ve been preparing all week, (Massabesic) coach (Brooks) Bowen is doing really great job with the team, Massabesic is improving and they come out ready to play. I can’t say enough about how hard they competed tonight. But we knew we just had to dig in and hope there would be the wear down factor and there was.”

Massabesic came out hot in the third quarter, and would cut the lead in half with a 27-yard touchdown by Isaac DesVergnes. Despite putting the pressure on Sanford, the Spartans responded by getting a touchdown scamper from quarterback Ethan Emard with less than two minutes left in the third.

Sanford stayed poised in the fourth, and got a six-yard rushing touchdown from Connarton, and later another from Jordan Giroux to secure the win. Giroux and Carson Bickford also recorded interceptions in the fourth quarter for Sanford.

Fallon was proud of the way his team responded when the Mustangs applied the pressure in the third quarter.

“We talked about that — we went into the half up 14-0 but it felt like there was a momentum swing at the end of the half, and the thing is is that you can’t get comfortable,” said Fallon. “Credit again to Massabesic, they came out ready to play, they chipped away at us and scored and at that point we looked at our kids and said ‘we have to respond — we have to wake up and respond.’ They did and I was really proud of our kids.”

Bowen felt that depth hurt the Mustangs down the stretch, but was proud of the fight they showed in the loss.

“We have to keep working hard and to keep a vision of where we want to go. Some of these games haven’t been pretty for them but they keep coming to practice, keep working hard and you have to respect them for that,” said Bowen.

Sanford picks up its first win of the season while Massabesic drops to 0-3.

“This was really important and hopefully we can continue this,” said Fallon. “As everyone knows, winning is a lot more fun than losing.”

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