SOUTH PORTLAND — The only thing Jaelen Jackson didn’t do Friday evening was sing the national anthem.

And if he had, he would have been right on key.

Jackson passed for a score, ran for two more, caught a touchdown pass and even had an interception – all in the first half – as South Portland outslugged Biddeford, 59-34, in a Class B South football game at Martin Memorial Field.

“The line was blocking very well and I was able to break some tackles,” said Jackson, who finished with 139 yards rushing, 81 receiving and 67 passing. “We have a lot of offensive weapons. A lot of guys, people don’t yet know about.”

On the game’s first play, Jackson threw to Ryan Thurber, who danced out of multiple tackles before racing to the end zone for a 67-yard score and a 7-0 lead for the Red Riots (2-1).

The Tigers (1-2) promptly answered on a 2-yard run by Ivan Ramos, but South Portland drove back down the field and went on top to stay, as Jackson kept the ball and scored from the 17 yards for a 14-7 lead, which held into the second quarter.

Then both offenses went crazy.

Just over a minute into the second, Jackson got free behind the defense and hauled in an 81-yard TD strike from Nate Rende, barely staying inbounds in the process. The extra point was no good, but after a Jackson interception, the Red Riots scored again, as Rende bulled his way in from the 1 to make it 26-7.

Back came Biddeford, as quarterback Jacob Landry and Colin Gregoire hooked up on a 43-yard touchdown pass. But then Jackson struck again, this time on a 57-yard run.

A 3-yard TD run by Ramos appeared to give the Tigers momentum with 59 seconds to go before halftime. South Portland, though, drove 51 yards in 46 seconds. With just 7 seconds on the clock, Thurber dove to haul in a 21-yard pass from Rende, and the Red Riots were up, 39-20 at halftime.

Jackson accounted for 253 of South Portland’s 330 yards in the first half.

After a Biddeford fumble on the first play of the second half, Jackson added a 25-yard TD run. Ramos countered with a 2-yard scoring run, but Rende found Alex Domingos for a 42-yard touchdown pass and a 52-27 lead after three quarters.

Ramos scored one more time, on a 1-yard plunge. A 4-yard run by South Portland’s Johnny Poole finished off the scoring.

“Offensively, we haven’t been able to put a lot together, so it was nice to be able to do that tonight,” said South Portland Coach Aaron Filieo.


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