Kurtis Edgerton’s interception in the second half helped set up a Biddeford touchdown. The Tigers beat Portland 28-6 Friday night at Waterhouse Field (MAUREEN GRADMAISON)

BIDDEFORD – All week, the Biddeford High football team prepared to contain Portland’s running back Jamal Moriba.

Not allowing the dynamic senior to be on the field seemed to do the trick.

Biddeford dominated the time of possession, and quarterback Marc Reali threw for two touchdowns as the Tigers beat the Bulldogs 28-6 in a Class B South tilt on a cool Friday night at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford.

“(Moriba) kept me up this week,” said Biddeford head coach Brian Curit. “He can beat you by himself, he really can. He had some big plays because he’s that good, but (our defense) didn’t break.”

Moriba rushed for 114 yards, but Biddeford’s defense kept him out of the endzone and the Tigers offense did its best to keep him off the field.

Biddeford (2-0) jumped out of the gates quickly, taking a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter on a four-yard touchdown pass to Delano Voccia-Hale from Reali who scooted in for a one-yard score. Voccia-Hale finished with six catches for 66-yards and was in sync with Reali all night.

“We’ve always really had a connection,” Voccia-Hale said. “Whenever he throws to someone else, it just feels different than when it goes to me.” 

The Tigers had chances to put the game away early, but Reali was intercepted twice inside the 10-yard line. The quarterback’s first interception, led to a three-play, 82-yard scoring drive for the Bulldogs (0-2), which was capped by a 52-yard touchdown pass from Grant Crosby to tight end Reid Nichols.

The score remained 14-6 at halftime, but Biddeford took advantage of two Portland miscues after the intermission.

Starting at their own 31, the Tigers shaved six minutes off the clock while marching downfield to the Portland 16. The Bulldogs’ defense forced a turnover on downs, but on Portland’s opening offensive play, Kurtis Edgerton picked off Crosby near midfield. The Tigers capitalized on a Reali to Crowell touchdown pass from six yards out to make it 21-6 with 2:21 left in the quarter.

Moriba did all he could to keep Portland competitive, churning his legs for long runs but the Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize. The Tigers put the nail in the coffin in the fourth after Nick Lyons intercepted a Crosby pass and returned it back to the nine-yard line. Aidan Donovan scampered in for a score on the next play to make it 28-6.

“We all care about each other,” said Donovan, who finished with 90 yards rushing on 23 carries. “If we didn’t have that, we couldn’t play how we play.”

Donovan, who also played on the defensive side of the ball, thought his team rose to the challenge of containing Moriba. 

“We knew (Moriba) was going to be a beast, and he was,” Donovan said. “We worked on a lot of gang tackling, being tough and conditioned.”

Despite taking control of the game in the second half, Biddeford didn’t let its foot off the gas offensively and went to Donovan on the ground to keep the clock running. The strategy, Curit said, was to try and eliminate the amount of time Portland had the ball.

“We think (Portland’s) a really good team,” Curit said. “With the athletes they have, they can score from a bunch of different places so a two-touchdown lead can evaporate pretty quick.”

 

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