CAPE ELIZABETH — Cape Elizabeth wanted to try a few different things to start the game during its Class C South semifinal Friday night against Fryeburg Academy.

When that didn’t work, Ryan Weare’s number was called.

The bruising senior running back put his team on his back with 39 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown as second-seeded Cape Elizabeth recorded a 14-0 victory to earn a spot in the regional final.

Next weekend, the Capers (8-2) will host No. 4 Gardiner, which upset top-seeded Leavitt. Cape Elizabeth beat Gardiner 21-13 in the second week of the season.

Cape Elizabeth, last year’s Class C South runner-up, stalled on its first three drives, totaling only 11 yards. Coach Aaron Filieo then heeded the suggestion of offensive coordinator Ryan Piper to give the ball to Weare.

The fourth drive was all Weare as he carried the ball 11 straight times on a 61-yard drive. He capped it with a 3-yard plunge up the middle for a 6-0 lead with 4:18 left in the half.

“Before (the scoring) drive, Coach Piper said we’ve taken our shots in the passing game, (let’s) now keep it on the ground and let Ryan do his thing,” said Filieo. “We kept it on the ground and (number) 48 did the rest.”

Weare converted three third-down plays on the drive, including the touchdown run.

“I knew they’d get it to me (more) at some point,” said Weare, who only had four carries for seven yards on the first three drives.

“We tried to expose (Fryeburg) in the passing game early and get some looks, but I knew I’d get the ball.”

Weare, who had 123 yards on 36 carries in the regular-season meeting, grinded out his yards despite a stout front seven that was focused on stopping him.

“They definitely prepared on the inside and were there for many of our dives and traps,” Weare added. “They had some big guys making it tough.”

Cape expanded the lead on the second play of the fourth quarter.

Weare again was the recipient of most of the calls, with nine carries for 29 yards on the 12-play, 55-yard drive. But on a third-and-19 from the 31, Andrew Hartel found Jacob Brydson at the 10 between two defenders, and the senior went into the end zone untouched. A Hartel to Jack Glanville pass for the 2-point conversion made the score 14-0 with 11:03 left.

“That was an absolutely great throw and a great route, and the offensive line gave (Hartel) time,” Filieo said. “It was third-and-long and I knew (Fryeburg) would drop back in coverage, but Andrew read the play well.”

The Raiders, who finished with less than 150 yards, made too many mistakes to knock off the Capers. They finished with nine penalties for 75 yards, threw two second-half interceptions (both by Brydson), fumbled three times (recovering all of them) and had a snap go over the head of quarterback Oscar Saunders when they were at the Cape 18 with a little less than seven minutes remaining.

“Every time we had something going, something happened – penalties, bad snap – and we shot ourselves in the foot,” Fryeburg Coach David Turner said. “We weren’t able to get much offense going, and that wore down our defense.”

Jared Chisari finished with 54 yards on the ground for Fryeburg, and Saunders passed for 90 yards.