YARMOUTH — The new high school boys’ lacrosse alignment and increased schedule flexibility was designed to create competitive regular-season games.

It sure worked on a foggy Friday night in Yarmouth.

In a matchup of unbeaten teams, Class B Yarmouth used its fundamental, hard-nosed defense to slow Class A South Portland for most of the game, then withstood a flurry from the high-powered Red Riots in the final minutes for an 8-7 victory.

“We practiced for them all week and just had a good game plan for them,” said Yarmouth’s 6-foot-6 defender, Jake Rogers. “It was a little scary there at the end. It’s definitely fun. These close games are exciting.”

Yarmouth (4-0) also has a victory against Cape Elizabeth, the defending Class B state champion, which is now in Class A.

South Portland (4-1) has beaten Brunswick, the defending Class A champion, which is now in Class B.

Yarmouth had a 36-21 shot advantage. Quinn Watson kept South Portland in the game with 16 saves – eight in each half. Spencer King of Yarmouth did his part with 11 saves.

Both goalies excelled in clearing the ball – a needed skill as strong transition defense by both teams virtually eliminated fast-break opportunities.

“One of the things we knew about South Portland is they are a really good team in transition,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl.

“And in order to shut down their transition, we asked our midfielders and our long-stick middies to run the midfield and just cover men relentlessly. All of those boys from South Portland, our guys hustled, and both coaches could feel really proud.”

Yarmouth had six goal scorers. Gavin Hamm (two assists) and Joe Truesdale each scored twice. Cooper May, Silas Chappell, Justin Winkel and Anders Corey each had one goal.

David Fiorini and Aidan Schifano each scored twice for South Portland. Cooper Mehlhorn had one goal and four assists, and Jack Tierney and Harrison Mayone also scored.

For most of the game, Rogers and his Yarmouth defensive cohorts, James Hook and Sean Moore, stymied South Portland’s top threats, Mehlhorn and Fiorini.

Yarmouth slowly built an 8-4 lead, aided by fourth-quarter goals from Hamm and Chappell.

South Portland had scored just one goal in a 32-minute span before Tierney dove into his own bench area to keep a ball from going out of bounds, then bounced to his feet and won the possession.

“It did give us a little spark. We were pretty flat for most of the game,” said South Portland Coach Tom Fiorini. “Credit Yarmouth’s defense for a lot of our offensive inabilities.”

The extra possession earned by Tierney turned into a goal. Mehlhorn shook free of Rogers’ long-pole reach to blister a quick shot by Watson with 3:15 to play.

After a clean faceoff win by Josh Doan, Mehlhorn set up Fiorini, who converted his first goal 39 seconds later.

The Mehlhorn-to-Fiorini combination worked once more with 40 seconds to play. The game wasn’t sewn up until Yarmouth long-stick midfielder Eric Loomis intercepted a pass and ran out the final 10 seconds.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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