STANDISH – It didn’t come easily or with precision, but Bonny Eagle High found enough ways to get around a stout Portland defense and won Friday night’s Class A football game, 24-7.

The teams were tied at the half 7-7, and it was still 7-7 into the fourth quarter.

Will Whyte put Bonny Eagle ahead to stay with a 30-yard field goal.

Then quarterback Zach Maturo put the game away with two scoring runs late in the fourth quarter, as the Scots finally began to wear down a defense that was dominant in the first half.

“We knew it was going to be a dogfight but there’s nobody tougher than my team,” Maturo said.

Bonny Eagle, of Class A South, improved to 3-0. Portland, a contender in Class A North, is 2-1. Both teams won their first two games with relative ease.

“If they’re the last team standing in the North come November, it shouldn’t surprise anybody,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper. “They’re aggressive, they play hard. They’re well coached and they were certainly a tough opponent tonight.”

Both teams struggled with penalties. Portland had nine and Bonny Eagle finished with seven.

“Ours came at the worst possible time,” said Portland Coach Jim Hartman, including an unsportsmanlike conduct call on quarterback Sam Knopp after he was tackled a few inches short of a first down on a third-down run.

Instead of fourth and inches at the Bonny Eagle 35, Portland was forced to punt.

Four plays later, Maturo burst around left end and scored on a 49-yard run to give the Scots a 17-7 advantage.

Bonny Eagle sewed it up by stopping Zack Elowitch of Portland on a fake punt, and then scoring on a Maturo 22-yard run with 2:44 remaining in the game.

Portland’s defense came into the game highly touted and made its case in the first half.

Whyte, the Scots’ senior back who had rushed for nearly 400 yards in the first two games, had six carries for a loss of eight yards. Maturo, the shifty Bonny Eagle quarterback, was thrown for losses of 16 (sack) and 11 (bad snap). In total, Bonny Eagle’s rushing yardage was minus 34.

The Bulldogs got on the board first on a 23-yard inside burst by fullback Ben Trefethen.

But Portland was hurt by six first-half penalties, including two holding calls that derailed a lengthy drive.

Bonny Eagle took advantage of two good bounces to tie the game.

Cam Gardner intercepted a pass at the Portland 30 after Knopp’s swing pass to Elowitch bounced off the back’s chest and into the air.

Three plays later, Portland cornerback Jamal Moriba had good coverage on Nate Ferris up the sideline, but when Moriba got his hand on the ball it popped softly up for Ferris, who caught it and trotted in for a 32-yard score with 1:02 remaining before halftime.

Portland had a 130-16 advantage in first-half total yardage.

“We were dominating them,” Hartman said. “That interception turned the whole game around.”

“I think the fact that we scored right before the half gave us a little confidence,” Cooper said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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