SOUTH BERWICK — Top-seeded Marshwood scored touchdowns on six of its seven first-half possessions and ended South Portland’s memorable season with a 49-6 victory Friday evening in a Class B South football semifinal.

The Hawks improved to 9-1 and advanced to host second-seeded Kennebunk in the regional final at 1 p.m. next Saturday. Marshwood beat Kennebunk at home three weeks ago, 48-14.

The fifth-seeded Red Riots were limited on offense, as quarterback Anthony Poole played with a leg injury, turning him into a pocket passer. Normally a dangerous runner, Poole completed 2 of 8 passes for 8 yards, with an interception.

Marshwood’s ability to move the ball both through the air and on the ground proved too much to counter.

“I feel like we just played a small college team,” said South Portland Coach Aaron Filieo. “Anytime a team like that that has run the ball 70 percent of the time passes like they did tonight, like they pass 70 percent of the time, it’s tough. They’re just so good.”

Marshwood, the two-time defending state champion, needed just seven plays to take the lead for good, marching 77 yards for a 7-yard touchdown run from Carsen Goodwin.

After a South Portland three-and-out, Marshwood quickly struck again, as quarterback Connor Caverly hit Cameron Cornett for a 61-yard score. Aidan Sullivan connected with Andrew Goodwin on a 2-point conversion pass to make it 15-0.

Before the first quarter was over, Justin Bryant scored on a 7-yard burst and Caverly passed to Cullen Casey for a 2-point conversion and a commanding 23-0 lead.

After recovering a fumble deep in Marshwood territory, the Red Riots got on the board on a 5-yard run from Luca Desjardins, but the extra point was blocked. Marshwood answered with a 46-yard pass from Caverly to John Valentine, and then Cornett scored on a 2-yard run to make it 36-6 at halftime.

Caverly threw for 191 yards in the first half.

“We saw some things that we thought would allow us to throw the ball, and our quarterback is really good and we have some good receivers,” said Marshwood Coach Alex Rotsko. “We haven’t really had much of an opportunity to throw the ball this season, but we can throw it well.”

Early in the second half, Bryant scored on an 18-yard run to induce the mercy rule running clock. Goodwin’s second TD, a 32-yard burst late in the game, accounted for the final score.

The Hawks generated 421 yards to the Red Riots’ 147.

South Portland improved from one win in 2018 to seven this season and reached the regional semifinals for the first time in eight years, as Filieo turned the program around in sudden and resounding fashion after moving over from Cape Elizabeth High.

“We certainly exceeded expectations,” Filieo said. “Our senior class understood their role in the moment and how to compete as a team. That set the tone. It’s been incredible.”

 

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