CAPE ELIZABETH — The Leavitt Hornets have staked their claim as the team to beat in Class C South football this fall.

Friday evening at a foggy Hannaford Field, the Hornets drove the length of the field against Cape Elizabeth to start the game and never looked back, racking up 449 yards as they pulled away to beat the Capers, 42-20.

Leavitt quarterback Wyatt Hathaway threw three touchdown passes, and Mark Herman squashed any Cape Elizabeth comeback hopes with a pair of long TD runs in the second half, helping the Hornets improve to 3-0.

“It was their home opener and we thought if we could weather their best shot early, we’d be OK,” said Leavitt Coach Mike Hathaway. “We wanted to start fast, so we tried to come out uptempo.”

Leavitt set the tone by driving 71 yards on nine plays, going ahead to stay on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Hathaway to Camden Jordan. Stephen Gray added the extra point to make it 7-0.

After Cape Elizabeth was stopped on downs at the Leavitt 31, the Hornets added to their lead with a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter.

Leavitt started their next drive from their own 27 after a punt and went 73 yards for another touchdown. Hathaway capped the drive with a 3-yard run, and Gray’s PAT extended the lead to 17-0.

The Capers then had a golden opportunity to get back into the contest just before halftime, holding the ball for 15 plays and driving to the Leavitt 4. The march included a 19-yard run by Jack Tower and an 11-yard pass from Andrew Hartel to Ethan Convey on fourth down that put the ball at the 5, but after Tower ran for a yard, Hartel threw three incompletions.

Cape Elizabeth (1-2) got some life in the third quarter when Hartel hit Matt Conley for a 14-yard touchdown, but two plays later, Herman broke free for a 60-yard run that restored Leavitt’s 17-point lead.

After the Hornets added to their lead with another big play, a 49-yard strike from Hathaway to Oren Shaw, the Capers got back within 30-14 after three quarters on a 21-yard Hartel-to-Conley score.

With 6:45 to go, Hathaway (9 of 16 for 200 yards, one interception) hit Jordan for a 6-yard TD.

Hartel then threw a 56-yard scoring pass to Tower, but Leavitt again immediately answered, as Herman (four carries, 126 yards, two scores) broke free for a 57-yard TD run.

“We made some mistakes and were a little sloppy in the second half, but the guys did a good job playing the next play,” Mike Hathaway said. “We’re happy where we are, but we’ll keep trying to get better.”

Hartel finished 18 of 47 for 256 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

“I appreciate how the guys came out and battled in the second half,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Aaron Filieo. “Defensively, we can’t give up those big chunks. We made them earn the field in the first half, but in the second half, they got big plays. We obviously have work to do.”