Falmouth began the boys’ lacrosse season with five wins. But then the Yachtsmen reached the buzz saw portion of their schedule and stumbled.

It was all by design to toughen this Falmouth team and, so far, it’s working.

The Yachtsmen continued to cruise through the postseason Wednesday afternoon, easing past Portland 15-4 in the Class A North title game at Fitzpatrick Stadium. That sets up a state final rematch with Thornton Academy (14-1) this Saturday at Fitzpatrick. Thornton beat Falmouth 14-12 last year.

Returning to the championship game has been relatively easy for Falmouth (10-5), which has won its three North playoff games by a combined 48-12 score.

“We’re playing our best ball right now,” Falmouth Coach Dave Barton.

The dominance comes despite Falmouth’s being the No. 5 seed, a result of its five losses. But the Yachtsmen played a much tougher schedule than the teams it beat in the postseason – No. 4 Bangor, No. 1 Windham, and No. 2 Portland. The Bulldogs finished 11-2, facing two teams with winning records during the season.

Falmouth, meanwhile, was playing the state’s best, in Thornton, Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth, Brunswick and South Portland – all losses for the Yachtsmen.

“It was tough,” Barton said. “But those games made us better.”

Wednesday’s game was a rematch of last year’s North final, which Falmouth won 15-6.

After a defensive-minded first period – Falmouth scored the only goal – the Yachtsmen poured it on, taking an 8-0 halftime lead. Falmouth’s defense, led by goalie A.J. Noyes (10 saves) and defenseman Max Orestis, was dominant.

Sophomore Wyatt Kerr led the scoring with five goals and two assists. Senior Reilly Tucker recorded three goals and three assists. Macklin Williams and Peter Alexander chipped in two goals apiece, and Iyendae St. Louis, Kurt Robaczewski and Robby Drum each added a goal.

“They possessed the ball a lot in the first period,” Tucker said. “We like to get off to a hot start but when they possess the ball, it’s tough.

“We just needed to break through. Their goalie played well. We just kept shooting and eventually they fell.”

The game was scoreless for nine minutes. Portland held the ball a long time. When Falmouth quickly countered, Bulldogs sophomore goalie John Sylvain (21 saves) was big.

“Johnny stepped up for us big-time today,” Portland Coach Mike Difusco said.

At 9:23, Zach Derhak crossed to Robaczewski, who buried it for the game’s first goal.

Near the end of the first period, Kerr received a vicious crosscheck and needed to be tended to. He returned at the start of the second period, in time to assist on the power-play goal by Alexander at 1:08.

“I just tried to stay calm and keep my head,” Kerr said about coming back in the game. “We were able to turn it around.”

The goals kept coming.

Tucker, who sets up behind the net, came out front and scored at 2:17, for a 3-0 lead. Portland was on its heels.

With two minutes left in the half, the Yachtsmen led 8-0.

“We came out pretty good,” Difusco said. “What hurt us was getting in the box. … We just couldn’t turn it around from there. They capitalized.”

Portland scored three of the first four goals in the second half, but Falmouth then pulled away. Evan Bay, Cyrus MacCachran, Grant Jacobson and Mikias Silva scored for the Bulldogs.

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