CAPE ELIZABETH — Pinned against its goal line, protecting a one-point lead in the waning moments at Hannaford Field, the Cape Elizabeth High football team was right where it’s comfortable Friday night.

Playing in its third consecutive one-point game, Cape Elizabeth made another crucial play when Colin Campbell recovered a fumble, capping a comeback from a 13-point deficit in a 21-20 victory against Freeport in a Class C South showdown.

The Capers (3-2), who nearly upset Wells last week, erased a 20-7 deficit and got the winning points on Nick Laughlin’s 3-yard run with 1:59 to play.

“I think we came out too confident and obviously a little sluggish, but we showed our resilience and pulled it out,” said Campbell, who ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries.

Freeport (3-1) made an immediatesstatement, driving 62 yards in four plays and taking a 6-0 lead on Adam Ulrickson’s 54-yard scamper. A 2-point conversion rush failed.

Back came Cape Elizabeth, starting with a 57-yard kickoff return by Matt Laughlin. Campbell scored on a 1-yard dive to put the Capers ahead, 7-6.

Back came the Falcons, this time driving 56 yards on nine plays. After gaining 11 yards on fourth down, Ulrickson scored again, this time from 7 yards, and Freeport’s lead was 12-7 after one quarter.

Freeport’s most impressive drive came in the second quarter, when it marched 87 yards in 13 plays and 6:28 to get breathing room.

On fourth-and-5, Tre Morris broke a tackle and raced down the right sideline for a 25-yard score. Ulrickson added the 2-point conversion and after Danny Casale intercepted Gannon Stewart’s pass in the end zone in the waning seconds, the Falcons took a 20-7 advantage to halftime.

Cape Elizabeth was a rejuvenated team to start the second half.

The ball went to Campbell seven times for 65 yards and he capped a drive with a 4-yard rush to pull the Capers within six.

Freeport’s offense was shut down for the rest of the game, but the defense stood tall until Cape Elizabeth’s final drive, capped by Nick Laughlin’s lone touch of the game – a touchdown – and Colin Smith’s go-ahead extra point.

Justin Cogswell returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to the Capers’ 12, but after a bad snap was recovered by Campbell, Cape Elizabeth ran out the clock.

“I think the way we played in the second half was a better representation of who we are, but we didn’t play our game tonight,” said Sean Green, the Capers’ first-year coach. “Freeport’s a heck of a football team.”

The Falcons got 124 yards and two TDs on 19 carries from Ulrickson.

“I’m proud of the guys,” said Freeport Coach Paul St. Pierre.

“We had a chance to really make a statement tonight but we let them back in it. It was a great effort. A huge step up for our program. I think we can play with anybody.”

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