The game plan was simple for the Sanford High football team Friday night – run the ball. Deering knew it was coming but couldn’t stop it.

The Spartans recorded their second straight win by outmuscling Deering 31-24 in a Class A South game at Memorial Field.

Sanford gained 394 yards rushing on 49 carries.

Ryan Connarton scored two times and gained 101 yards, and quarterback Jordan Giroux scored once and picked up 127 yards. Caleb Saucier (81 yards) and Michael Lunny (50 yards, TD, 2-point conversion) chipped in for Sanford (2-2).

“We wouldn’t have been able to do (what we did) if it wasn’t for the offensive line,” said Connarton. “We have two guys who have been here for two years but the other three are pretty young. It was rough at the beginning of the year. We had to coach them up and teach them how to block. But we feel great about them now.”

After allowing the Rams (0-4) to score on their first drive – on Travis Soule’s 21-yard run – Sanford scored the next 21 points for a 21-8 lead it wouldn’t give up.

Sanford answered Deering’s opening drive with a scoring drive the first time it touched the ball. Behind the offensive line of Khaalid Kakande, Josiah Scott, Doug Johnson, Nick Works and Brendon Tremblay, as well as tight end Leyton Bickford, all of the 61-yard march was on the ground, other than a 15-yard pass interference penalty. Connarton capped it with a 14-yard run, and Giroux’s 2-point conversion made it 8-8.

Sanford capitalized on the only turnover of the game on Deering’s next possession, an interception by Ryley Bougie. A six-play, 68-yard drive was capped by Connarton’s 35-yard scamper.

It was much of the same for Sanford to open the second half. It took only seven rushes to cover 75 yards. Giroux found the end zone on a 39-yard keeper. Marcus Gould’s PAT pushed the lead to 21-8 with only 2:12 elapsed in the third quarter.

“We talked to the offensive line all week,” said Sanford Coach Mike Fallon. “We told them we go as the offensive line goes. They had tremendous push up front and cleaned up, and opened huge holes for the backs.

“The running game allowed us to possess the ball for long periods of time because (Deering) kept it close.”

The Rams, whose season-opening schedule of Scarborough, Thornton Academy and South Portland was as rough as anyone in Class A, got within striking distance on Soule’s 14-yard scoring pass to Ben Onek and his own 8-yard TD, sandwiched a Lunny score for Sanford.

Trailing 29-24, Deering got the ball back on its own 9 with 2:04 remaining. It moved the ball to the 20 but consecutive sacks by Kakande and Johnson – the last for a safety – pushed the lead to seven points with 32 seconds left.

“We had many opportunities,” said Deering Coach Jason Jackson. “We definitely played a much smarter game (than we have) by not making as many mistakes. We knew what Sanford wanted to do and they were able to get it done.”

Soule finished with 90 yards on the ground and another 169 passing. Luc Harrison gained 75 yards on two receptions.