The clock is ticking on the fall sports regular season, and in many cases, teams have already completed their schedule and are looking ahead to the postseason.

After a year with no playoffs, athletes, coaches and fans alike can’t wait to see champions crowned in the weeks to come and based on what we’ve seen as the regular season winds down, the postseason will be palpitating.

Here’s a look at last week’s action and a glimpse at where local teams stand as it’s almost time for win-or-go-home games to be contested.

Football

Portland’s Brandon Boyle of Portland looks to break free during Saturday’s 32-7 win at South Portland in the “Battle of the Bridge.” Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

Last weekend saw the final regular season game for eight-man teams and the penultimate contest for Class B squads.

Cheverus capped its first eight-man season with a 52-0 home domination of Sacopee Valley to finish 5-0. The Stags’ postseason schedule wasn’t known at press time.

In Class B South, Portland has locked up the top seed after improving to 7-0 Saturday afternoon with a decisive 32-7 win at rival South Portland in the “Battle of the Bridge.” Two years ago, the Bulldogs, playing many young players, suffered a 35-7 loss to the Red Riots, but this time around, they turned the tables.

Senior quarterback Grant Crosby, who was intercepted twice in that 2019 game, put his team on top to stay four minutes into the contest with a pretty 35-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Isajar. After a defensive stop, Portland drove again and running back Brandon Boyle, who played for Deering in 2019, scored his first touchdown of the day, on a 2-yard rush, to make it 12-0 after one quarter. The Bulldogs’ defense, which excelled all afternoon, then got involved in the scoring, as Aidan DiMillo put on an athletic show, intercepting a pass with one hand before racing 20 yards for another TD and at the half, Portland was in command, up, 20-0.

The Red Riots got right back in it on the first play of the second half, when they returned the kickoff 87 yards to pay dirt, but their offense never could produce points and the Bulldogs put it away in the fourth period, as Boyle scored on rushes of 3 yards and 2 yards, slamming the door on a 32-7 victory.

“We want to win more than any team in the state,” DiMillo said. “It feels good to return the favor from two years ago. We’re taking the ‘Bridge’ trophy home with us and it feels good. A big part of our win today was game planning. The coaches do a really good job of that.”

“Two years ago, we were looking forward to this point,” said Bulldogs coach Jason McLeod. “We played a lot of freshmen and sophomores two years ago and we told them that we’d need them to be at a certain level two years (later) and here we are. The luster of this game hasn’t been lost in our eyes or (South Portland’s). It’s an important part of the year for us and it’s something we prepare for like it has meaning for us.”

Portland closes at 3-4 Gorham Friday.

“Not having to leave our homefield the rest of the way is a big deal for us,” McLeod said. “I’m ecstatic. The kids are doing what they’re supposed to do and we’re getting better every week. We have a bull’s-eye on our on back. Teams want to put their best effort on the field against us and we have to know that each and every week.”

Deering fell to 0-7 with a 24-0 loss at Gorham. The Rams close at home versus 5-2 Noble Friday.

Boys’ soccer

Cheverus’ Carter Hoglund eludes the Thornton Academy defense early in the Stags’ 3-0 victory last week. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team, which won the 2018 and 2019 Class C championships, is in line for another crown this fall. Last week, the Flyers improved to 10-2-1 by downing host Traip Academy (1-0) and visiting Sacopee Valley (7-1). Against the Rangers, Nils Burton-Johanson scored in the 67th minute. In the win over the Hawks, seven different players scored, as Burton-Johanson, Henry Hart, Oscar Herrera, Samir Sayed, Payton Smith, Bryan Stark-Chesse and Jacob Woodman found the net. Waynflete was ranked second behind Mt. Abram in the Class C South Heal Points standings at press time. The Flyers closed at reigning Class B champion Yarmouth Tuesday, then will be home for at least one playoff game.

In Class A South, Deering was 8-4-1 and sixth following a 2-0 setback at South Portland and a 2-1 home win over Thornton Academy. Adilson Vidal scored both goals in the victory. The Rams finished at home versus Sanford Tuesday, then will likely host at least one postseason contest.

Portland was 8-5 and eighth in the region after a 4-0 win at Kennebunk and a 4-1 loss at Marshwood. In the win, Oliver Hettenbach, Ford Myers, Kosta Nedeljkovic and Christo Vumpa all scored goals. The Bulldogs finished the regular season at home Tuesday versus reigning Class A champion Falmouth, then hope for a preliminary round contest on their home turf.

Cheverus improved to 4-6-2 and ninth in the region last Wednesday with a 3-0 home win over Thornton Academy. After goalkeeper Wyatt Roy made some big saves early, the Stags got their offense going in the second half, as Collin Plalum, Kyle Lamberson and Emmet Schuele all scored.

“This win’s good for us,” Schuele said. “I feel we have a decent enough team. We just need to get momentum and finish. Once we get momentum, we’re good.”

“The defense did a lot better in the second half,” said Roy, who had 11 saves. “We need to be more consistent throughout the game. Go hard right out of the gate.”

“We didn’t play well at all in the first half,” added Cheverus coach Bill LeBlanc. “We were sloppy and our effort wasn’t good enough. We had a better effort in the second half. Our defense was better and we found the goal.”

The Stags were at Westbrook Monday, then close at home versus Scarborough Tuesday. A win in the finale could propel Cheverus into a home playoff game.

The boys’ soccer playoffs commence with play-in games Thursday. The Round of 16 is Friday and Saturday, and the quarterfinals are Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. All of those games will be held on the fields of the higher seeds.

Girls’ soccer

Waynflete’s Lucy Hart makes a move on a Traip Academy defender during last week’s 1-0 Flyers’ victory. Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, Waynflete hit its stride at the right time, improving to 8-5 after sandwiching victories over visiting Traip Academy (1-0) and host Sacopee Valley (5-1) around a 5-0 loss at undefeated North Yarmouth Academy last week. Against the Rangers, Lucy Hart scored an early goal and the Flyers made it stand up with a solid defensive effort.

“We’ve had good energy lately and hopefully we’ll carry that into the playoffs,” Hart said. “If we keep working together, hopefully we’ll get good results.”

“It was scary at the end,” defender Lolie Millspaugh said. “At halftime, I hoped we’d get another (goal) in, but we didn’t. It got frantic and I was just booting the ball out. It was our last home game, my last game here and Senior Day. It feels so good to win.”

“Protecting a lead isn’t easy, especially with some injuries,” added Carrie Earls, who co-coaches Waynflete along with George Sherry. “We’re finding out where the girls can be successful. I’m the most competitive person in the world, so to win five in a row is great. Along with some positional changes, we brought the team together and said, ‘We’re already on course to have the best season in years.’”

In the win over the Hawks, Hart scored two goals, while Cece Marshall, Lucy Sarno and Iris Stutzman added one apiece. The Flyers (ranked eighth in the Class C South Heal Points standings at press time) closed the regular season at Old Orchard Beach Tuesday and could host a preliminary round playoff game.

In Class A South, Cheverus was 9-4 and sixth in the standings following a a 2-1 overtime loss at Thornton Academy and an 8-0 home win over Westbrook on Senior Day. Julia Kratzer had the goal in the loss, then scored three times against the Blue Blazes. Carolyn Bolduc and Jillian Foley added their first varsity goals, while Kadynne Smith, Finley Brown and Lilly Hoyt also found the net. The Stags finished at Scarborough Tuesday and had a chance to move up with a victory. Regardless, Cheverus will host a preliminary round playoff game.

Portland was 5-6-1 and 11th after a 2-1 home win over Kennebunk and a scoreless home tie against Marshwood. In the victory, Anneliese Collin, Eliza Stein and Vanessa Connolly made 10 saves. Connolly stopped 11 shots versus the Hawks. The Bulldogs closed the regular season at Falmouth Tuesday, then will be on the road for the playoffs.

Deering was 3-9-1 and 13th following a 4-0 home victory over South Portland and a 3-1 setback at Thornton Academy. Elsa Freeman had two goals and Emma Hallee had a goal and an assist in the win. Freeman also scored in the loss. The Rams closed at Sanford Tuesday, then will be on the road for the postseason.

The girls’ soccer playoffs commence with play-in games Thursday. The Round of 16 is Friday and Saturday, and the quarterfinals are Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. All of those games will be held on the fields of the higher seeds.

Field hockey

NYA/Waynflete goalie Elliana Howerton-Lynch kicks the ball away during last week’s victory at previously undefeated St. Dom’s. Andree Kehn / Sun Journal

Cheverus’ field hockey team capped a perfect 14-0 campaign last week, the best in program history (the Stags were 13-1 in 2009 and 2012), after beating host Portland/Deering (11-0), Westbrook (11-1) and Massabesic (3-2) last week. In the first victory, Taylor Tory had four goals, while Lily Johnson and Lucy Johnson added three apiece and Mackenzie Cash finished with one. Against the Blue Blazes, Tory and Lucy Johnson rattled the cage three times apiece, while Olivia McCartney scored twice and Jadyn Carrigan, Lily Johnson and Norah Slattery added one apiece. In the win over the Mustangs, just Cheverus’ second victory by one-goal all season, Lucy Johnson’s second goal, on a penalty corner after time expired, was the difference. McCartney scored the other goal. The Stags will be the top seed for the Class A South playoffs and will be favored to win a regional title for just the second time in program history (2010 was the other).

The Portland/Deering co-op squad was 1-12 and 15th following last week’s 11-0 home loss to Cheverus. Ella Burdin made 24 saves. The team closed at Massabesic Tuesday, then will be on the road for the preliminary round of the playoffs.

The North Yarmouth Academy/Waynflete co-op team improved to 9-4 and extended its win streak to six games after victories last week at home over Sacopee Valley (5-0), at previously undefeated St. Dom’s (1-0) and at Wells (4-1). Against the Hawks, Emilia McKenney scored three goals and Emma Bowden and Emily Kalinich added one apiece. In the win over the Saints, Greta Tod scored the lone goal in the third quarter, from Kalinich, and goalie Elliana Howerton-Lynch made 19 saves.

“Basically, my teammate Emily dribbled it far past the defenders and she put it right toward the post and I just hit in,” Tod said. “Actually, it is my second (game-winning goal).”

“Yes, I was (under siege),” Howerton-Lynch said. “I think I blacked out. St. Dom’s is a great team. We played them twice before. It didn’t go our way so this game had a lot riding on it. We’ve been practicing really hard and we’ve worked on our communication a lot and everything fell into place. We just trusted each other and trusted ourselves and it went our way.”

“Greta did an amazing job keeping the momentum going forward because it was really a team effort from the back of the field all the way up,” NYA/Waynflete coach Annika King added. “Emily carried that ball, forced it up front and Greta was there to finish it off. It was an amazing team effort. Elly did amazing in cage. She was eager for every single ball. She was confident in every move she was making. She trusted her instincts and she was flawless in there today.”

NYA/Waynflete (third in the Class C South Heals at press time) closed at Traip Academy Monday. The squad will host at least one playoff game.

The field hockey playoffs start Friday and Saturday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Those games will be contested on the fields of the higher seeds.

Volleyball

All three city volleyball teams will be on the road for the postseason.

Deering took a 7-6 mark into Monday’s regular season finale against visiting Massabesic. Last week, the Rams lost in three sets (19-25, 8-25, 10-25) at Scarborough. Deering was seeded 11th in the Class A South Heal Points standings at press time.

Cheverus finished 4-10 after a four-game loss at Thornton Academy last week. The Stags were ranked 13th at the start of the week.

Portland wound up 2-12 following 3-0 home losses to undefeated Biddeford and Massabesic. The Bulldogs were seeded 17th at press time.

The play-in round will be held Thursday. The Round of 16 is Friday and Saturday and the quarterfinals are Monday and Tuesday of next week. All of those matches will be held on the courts of the higher seeds.

Cross country

Waynflete’s Sawyer Linehan, left, and Ben Duda run in last weekend’s Western Maine Conference cross country championship meet. John Jensenius / For The Forecaster

Waynflete’s cross country team took part in the Western Maine Conference championship meet last weekend in Standish.

The Flyers girls were first in the Division II standings and were paced by Skylar Harris, who was third individually in 23 minutes, 33 seconds.

Waynflete’s boys were sixth and were led by Ben Duda, who placed 20th in 20:36.

Saturday, at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland, the regional championships will be held. Waynflete’s girls kick things off in Class C South at 11 a.m. The Class C South boys’ race starts at 11:40 a.m. Cheverus, Deering and Portland’s girls compete in the Class A South girls’ meet at 12:20 p.m. The Class A South boys’ race starts at 1 p.m.

Sun Journal staff writer Tony Blasi contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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