The fall sports season is now in full gear and all Forecaster Country teams have seen action, with several squads having played multiple games.

The early returns have been promising and the contests will only increase in importance in the days to come.

Here’s a look back and a look ahead:

Football

South Portland senior quarterback Jaelen Jackson bulls over the Gorham defense early in Saturday’s 36-13 Red Riots’ victory. Michael Hoffer / For The Forecaster

Last football weekend had no shortage of drama.

South Portland improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2015 by virtue of a 36-13 victory at Gorham. The Red Riots, who upset reigning Class B champion Marshwood in their opener, 35-26, jumped out 7-0 after Jaelen Jackson’s interception set up a 9-yard Jackson touchdown run. Johnny Poole added a 9-yard scoring run of his own and the South Portland was up, 15-0, after one quarter and would never look back.

In the second period, Jackson connected with Nolan Hobbs for a 19-yard touchdown and while the Rams got on the board late, the Red Riots took a 22-7 advantage to the break. South Portland then got some breathing room in the third quarter, as Jackson found Hobbs again, this time from 15-yards out. Gorham, started the fourth period with a score, but a Poole 3-yard touchdown run put it away and the Red Riots prevailed, 36-13.

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“I like our momentum,” said Jackson, who accounted for three touchdowns with his arm and legs. “We talked about not looking past Gorham and making sure we took care of this week. We were definitely focused and ready to go. People weren’t expecting much of us. Our motto this year is, ‘Nothing to lose, everything to prove.’ We have the potential to really surprise some people. I think we’ve been slept on a little bit, but with the guys that we have, we’re good to go.”

South Portland had 387 yards of offense, didn’t turn the ball over and overcame six penalties for 45 yards.

“We always try to have balance on offense,” said Red Riots coach Aaron Filieo. “I liked how we got a lot of guys in today. A bunch of guys got chances. I like how we moved the ball, but penalties were an issue.”

The Red Riots will go to 1-1 Massabesic Friday and with a victory, will start 3-0 for the first time since 2001.

“We’re just trying to keep the train rolling,” added Filieo. “Last year was a bizarre year, so I’m just happy these guys came into the year with a different mindset. We know Marshwood will get better, Portland will figure it out and we just want to have a shot come November.”

Scarborough, which was blanked, 35-0, by visiting Thornton Academy in its opener, got back on track with a 33-21 victory at Bonny Eagle. The Red Storm shot to a 14-0 lead behind touchdowns from Griffin Denbow (a 15-yard run) and Thomas Hassett (a 39-yard pass from DeAngelo Alston), but the Scots rallied to lead, 21-14, before Scarborough scored the game’s final 19 points. A Denbow interception for a TD tied it, then Denbow’s 5-yard scoring run with 8:59 put the Red Storm on top to stay. A 22-yard TD run from Tim Crockett put it away. Alston finished 17-of-30 passing for 278 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Denbow ran 18 times for 58 yards and two scores. Crockett rushed four times for 31 yards and a TD and caught six passes for 110 yards. He also had eight tackles, tied with Andrew Moore for team-high.

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Friday, Scarborough welcomes 1-1 Marshwood in a pivotal early-season showdown (see pressherald.com/forecaster/forecaster-sports/ for game story).

Reigning Class C state champion Cape Elizabeth, which defeated Gorham, 48-26, in its opener, had its seven-game win streak snapped at Wells, 28-21, to fall to 1-1. The Capers took a quick 6-0 lead when Mike Foley found Nick Laughlin for a 9-yard touchdown and after the Warriors answered, Laughlin’s 92-yard kickoff run made it 13-7 after one period. Wells was up, 14-13, at the half and scored again in the fourth quarter to go up eight, but Cape Elizabeth rallied on a 9-yard Laughlin run and a Ceroi Mello two-point conversion rush to draw even, 21-21. The Capers had a chance to go ahead, but fumbled and the Warriors scored with 1:01 remaining and held on to win, earning a measure of revenge for a 69-0 loss to Cape Elizabeth in 2021.

“It’s our job offensively to convert and we can’t have bad penalties and bad turnovers and it’s kind of been the story the past couple of weeks,” said Capers coach Sean Green. “Against great football teams that are well coached with great history, great players, if you have those (mistakes) that’s going to happen.”

Cape Elizabeth hopes to bounce back Friday when it welcomes 2-0 Falmouth in its home opener.

Boys’ soccer

Greater Portland Christian School celebrates its 4-3 overtime win over Rangeley Tuesday. Contributed photo.

Scarborough’s boys’ soccer team produced a milestone victory for longtime coach Mark Diaz (see story), part of a promising 4-0 start to the season. Last week, the Red Storm blanked host Westbrook (8-0) and visiting Windham (2-0) before winning at Sanford Monday night (8-3). In the win over the Blue Blazes, Sandro Kaumba scored three goals, Jeff Badger and Will Fallona added two apiece and Kilson Joao had the other. Against the Eagles, Fallona scored both goals. In the win over the Spartans, Fallona scored three times and Kaumba added two. Scarborough was home with Kennebunk Wednesday, then is idle until next Friday.

South Portland improved to 3-0 with wins last week at Thornton Academy (3-2) and at home over Massabesic (8-0). Divin Mpinga scored all three goals against the Golden Trojans. In the win over the Mustangs, Mpinga scored three times and Josue Guerrero and Curtis Metcalf added two apiece. The Red Riots were home with Sanford Wednesday, have a key test at Gorham Friday and welcome Kennebunk Tuesday of next week.

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Cape Elizabeth was also unbeaten at press time, improving to 3-0-1 after recent wins over visiting Wells (10-1) and host York (3-1). Against the Warriors, Sam Cochran and Sam Lombardo both scored twice, while Jack Carignan, Harry Converse, Grant Kelley, Dylan Mikulka, Sebastian Moon and Abe Smith all added one goal. In the win over the Wildcats, Cochran and Keegan Lathrop scored goals, the third goal came on an “own goal” and goalkeeper Dimitri Coupe stopped a penalty shot. The Capers were at Freeport Thursday and host three-time Class C champion Waynflete Tuesday of next week.

Greater Portland Christian School opened with a 4-3 overtime home win over Rangeley Tuesday. Papa Osei scored three times, including the winner. Isaiah Irish also had a goal and Logan Hoffman made 15 saves. The Lions were at Islesboro Thursday, visit Temple Academy Saturday and go to Chop Point Monday before returning home to welcome Chop Point Wednesday of next week.

Girls’ soccer

Scarborough’s Ali Mokriski evades a defender during last week’s game at Windham. Mokriski scored the game’s lone goal in a 1-0 victory.  Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, highly-touted Scarborough passed a big test last week, winning at reigning Class A champion Windham in a thriller, 1-0, on Ali Mokriski’s late goal. Mokriski scored off a free kick from the top of the box with just under a minute left and goalkeeper Sophia Rinaldi preserved the victory with 10 clutch saves.

“All of us really wanted to win,” said Mokriski. “Every single player did their part. We couldn’t have done it without everyone working together.”

“It was pretty stressful, but I just focused on the game,” Rinaldi said. “Our back line is really strong, so I was focusing on them and making sure they were in the right position.”

“These are the games that the kids live for and makes them better players,” added longtime Red Storm coach Mike Farley. “Those core games against Windham and Gorham should always be there. This is the biggest Heal-Points game we’re going to have.”

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Saturday, Scarborough improved to 4-0 with a 7-0 home win over Sanford, as Mokriski scored three goals and Grace Carlista, Lana Djuranovic, Sarah LeFebvre and Sophia Tierney all added one. Talia Borelli finished with two assists. The Red Storm were at Kennebunk Wednesday, then are idle until next Thursday when Biddeford pays a visit.

South Portland dropped its first two games by 5-0 scores, at Cheverus and at home to Thornton Academy, then got in the win column last Thursday with a 5-1 victory at Massabesic. Tuesday, at Sanford, the Red Riots fell to 1-3 after a 2-1, double-overtime loss. Marina Bassett scored the goal. South Portland hosted Gorham Thursday and visits Kennebunk Tuesday of next week.

Three-time Class B champion Cape Elizabeth improved to 4-0 with recent wins at Wells (7-0) and at home over York (7-0). Against the Warriors, Evelyn Agrodnia and Noelle Mallory each scored twice and Caroline Concannon, Piper Duryee and Maisie Rayback added one goal apiece. In the win over the Wildcats, Mallory had four goals, Duryee two and Agrodnia one. The Capers look to extend their two-season win streak to 13 Saturday when Freeport pays a visit. Cape Elizabeth is at Waynflete Tuesday of next week.

Field hockey

Cape Elizabeth’s Sophia Chung fights for possession during Monday’s contest with Freeport. Chung scored in the second-overtime to give the Capers a 3-2 victory. Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald

Cape Elizabeth’s field hockey team, a surprise regional finalist in 2021, bounced back from a 6-0 home loss to perennial power York in its opener to beat host Wells (9-0) and visiting Freeport (3-2, in double-overtime). Against the Warriors, Grace Gray had four goals, Abbie Homicz added two and Sophia Chung, Kaitlyn McIntyre and Lulu Stoecklein finished with one apiece. The contest versus the Falcons was a thriller. After falling behind early, the Capers tied it up at halftime, as Chung set up Meghan Conley for a goal. Chung then scored (from Gray) to put Cape Elizabeth ahead, but Freeport tied the score late and the game went to overtime, then a second. With just 38 seconds to go before the game would have ended in a tie, off a penalty corner, Chung scored her second goal (from Stoecklein) and the Capers prevailed, 3-2, to improve to 2-1.

“It felt really good,” said Chung. “It was a relief to score and get the game over. I’m so happy right now. We all pulled through and we didn’t give up. We brought the energy head-on and our team’s spirit was really good. It was pretty exhausting, but more exhausting mentally and I’m glad we pulled through.”

“It felt good to pull it out,” said Capers coach Maura Bisogni. “Freeport is always like this. When we play them again, it will probably be a similar situation.”

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Cape Elizabeth hoped to make it three wins in a row Wednesday when Greely visited. The Capers travel to Lake Region Friday and return home Monday of next week to face Yarmouth.

“Going forward, I feel like we can work on looking for the ball and getting open on long hits, but otherwise, we’re off to a great start,” said Chung. “Even though we lost some seniors from last year, we’re realizing our potential.”

“This is a huge week for us,” Bisogni said. “Hopefully we’ll rest up and come back out strong on Wednesday.”

In Class A South, Scarborough improved to 3-0 with recent home wins over Massabesic (9-0) and Sanford (8-1). Against the Mustangs, Daisy Stone scored four times, Anjali Bhatnagar added two goals and an assist, Maggie Pendergast had a goal and an assist, Emma Lally and Sabrina Ocampo also scored and Ayden Harris contributed two assists. In the win over the Spartans, Ocampo had three goals, Stone added two and Lally, Pendergast and Annie Regan finished with one apiece. The Red Storm were at South Portland/Westbrook Thursday and go to Biddeford next Wednesday.

South Portland/Westbrook earned a 1-1 tie at Kennebunk last Wednesday, then fell, 4-1, to visiting Marshwood Friday. Against the Hawks, Grace Wallace scored and goalie Emily Keefe made 20 saves. After hosting Portland/Deering Tuesday and Scarborough Thursday, South Portland/Westbrook is at Thornton Academy Monday and welcomes Windham Wednesday of next week.

Volleyball

Cape Elizabeth’s volleyball team, the runner-up in Class B a year ago dropped a straight-set (15-25, 10-25, 24-26) home decision to reigning champion Yarmouth last Thursday in a state rematch, beat host Mt. Desert Island in four-games (25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 25-16) Saturday, then Tuesday improved to 3-1 on the year after a dramatic five-set (11-25, 25-19, 25-23, 14-25, 15-5) home win over reigning Class A champion Scarborough. After hosting Wells Thursday, the Capers visit York Monday and go to Westbrook Thursday of next week.

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Scarborough beat visiting Cheverus in four-sets (25-12, 25-9, 23-25, 25-17), then fell to 3-1 with a five-game (25-11, 19-25, 23-25, 25-14, 5-15) loss at Cape Elizabeth. The Red Storm host Gorham in a playoff rematch Friday and go to three-time Class B champion Yarmouth Thursday of next week.

South Portland dropped its first two matches, then evened its record with straight-set victories over visiting Marshwood (25-23, 26-24, 25-20) and host Portland. Tuesday, the Red Riots fell to 2-3 with a four-game (18-25, 25-22, 10-25, 14-25) loss at Bonny Eagle. South Portland goes to Yarmouth Friday and welcomes Sanford Monday.

Cross country

On the trails, Scarborough hosted Bonny Eagle, Massabesic and Westbrook last week. The boys edged the Scots by a point for first place, as Adam Bendetson was first individually in 16 minutes, 14.5 seconds. The Red Storm girls came in second behind Bonny Eagle. Kyleigh Record came in seventh (22:10.5).

South Portland joined Gorham, Kennebunk and Portland at Biddeford. The Red Riots boys were second behind the Bulldogs. Kyle Hartford came in sixth individually (18:11.85). The girls’ squad placed third and was led by Anna Brown (sixth, 22:33.94).

Golf

On the links, Scarborough improved to 5-0 with recent wins over Deering (13-0) and Portland (10.5-2.5).

South Portland was 3-1 after downing Cheverus (8-5).

Cape Elizabeth edged York, with a team score of 173 to 179, Monday to improve to 4-2 on the season. The Capers took on Poland, Freeport and York Thursday.

Press Herald staff writer Steve Craig contributed to this story.

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

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