Buckle up, the fall sports postseason is upon us.

It’s time for regional championships in cross country, playoffs in soccer, field hockey and volleyball and the end of the regular season for football.

And the best is yet to come.

Here’s a look at where things stand with the biggest games of the year on the horizon:


Portland’s Hunter Temple tries to avoid a tackle during Friday’s victory over Gorham. Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald

Portland’s football team has won three straight games and improved to 4-3 and second in the Class B South Crabtree Points after downing visiting Gorham in the rain Friday, 50-13. After a scoreless first quarter, Portland got their offense going in the second period and broke the ice on a 1-yard touchdown run from bruising running back Andrew Brewer. The two-point conversion failed and Gorham answered to go on top, 7-6. Undaunted, the Bulldogs marched right back, driving 83 yards to go ahead to stay, as Brewer scored on a 12-yard run and Reegan Buck added the two-point conversion rush. Portland then got some breathing room late in the half, driving 69 yards and going up, 22-7, at the half, thanks to a 15-yard TD pass from quarterback Kennedy Charles to Buck and a two-point conversion rush from Hunter Temple. Temple then started the second half with a electric 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and after forcing a fumble, the Bulldogs went on top, 38-7, on a 28-yard Buck TD scamper. Gorham got the next TD, but Portland countered, as Louis Thurston threw a 24-yard TD pass to Remijo Wani and Aidan McGowan put the cherry on the sundae with an 84-yard touchdown scamper. Brewer, Buck and McGowan all ran for over 100 yards in the victory.


“We realized we weren’t playing high-level football, but now, we think we’re the best team and we think we can beat anyone,” said Temple.

“Everything after the first quarter was perfect,” Buck said. “We came out slow, then it went according to plan.”

“We have a lot of athletes who can touch the ball and do good things with it,” Bulldogs coach Jason McLeod added. “We asked those kids to touch the ball for us tonight in different ways and they did big things.”

Portland has a pivotal showdown at 5-2 South Portland in the “Battle of the Bridge” Friday night (see pressherald.com/forecaster/forecaster-sports/ for game story).

“We want to play our best ball in November, it’s as simple as that,” McLeod said. “We’re finding our identity and we’re flexible too. We can ask our kids to do different things week after week. The Battle of the Bridge is always a big deal for us and that’s how we’re going to treat it.”

Cheverus had its five-game win streak snapped and fell to 5-2 after Saturday’s 41-13 home loss to undefeated Leavitt. The Hornets shot to a 20-0 lead after one quarter and a 41-0 advantage at the half. The Stags rallied in the second half, getting a 2-yard touchdown run from Rilan Smith in the third period and a 2-yard TD rush from Joe Osei in the fourth, but it was far too little, too late.


“(Leavitt’s) a very good team,” said Stags coach Mike Vance. “They operate well through the air and we weren’t able to match up today. We talked at halftime about the way we want to play, no matter the situation, and I think overall, the kids represented themselves well today,”

Cheverus (third in the Class C South Crabtrees at press time) closes at Cape Elizabeth (5-2) Friday night.

“I’m sure we’ll lick our wounds for a minute, but we’ll get right back at it Monday,” Vance said. “We have mature guys. These guys really like playing the game and we’re looking forward to next week. The kids are excited to be back in 11 (man) and there are still some things we want to accomplish.”

Deering fell to 1-6 after a 33-0 home loss to Noble. The Rams were ninth in Class B South at press time, but only eight teams qualify for the playoffs. Deering closes at home versus 1-6 Gorham Friday.

Boys’ soccer

Cheverus’ Anton Behuniak battles for the ball with Portland’s Nicky Paterniti during the Bulldogs’ win last week. Shawn Patrick Ouellette  /Portland Press Herald

Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team, the three-time state champion, was 11-1-1 and second behind Mt. Abram in the Class C South Heal Points standings entering Tuesday’s regular-season ending home showdown versus two-time Class B champion Yarmouth (see pressherald.com/forecaster/forecaster-sports/ for game story). Last week, the Flyers downed host Traip Academy (6-3) and Sacopee Valley (6-1). Against the Rangers, senior standout Myles Culley scored three times to set the program’s single-season scoring mark with 31 goals (displacing Ed Flowerdew’s 28 way back in 1993). Liam Anderson, Nils Burton-Johanson and Jacob Woodman also scored. In the win over the Hawks, Culley again had three goals and again, Anderson, Burton-Johanson and Woodman added one apiece.


In Class A South, Deering was 9-2-2 and fourth in the Heals entering Tuesday’s finale at undefeated, top-ranked Scarborough (see pressherald.com/forecaster/forecaster-sports/ for game story). Last week, the Rams gave longtime coach Joel Costigan his 100th victory with the program when they downed host Westbrook, 3-1. Ethan Fisher, Alberto Lucas Bayata and Haytham Ramadan all scored once.

Portland was 8-5 and eighth in Class A South after a 2-1 loss at Falmouth and a 2-0 home win over Cheverus. Against the Navigators, Nicky Paterniti scored on a rebound early, but the Bulldogs couldn’t score again and the Navigators rallied for the victory.

“This has been the story of our season,” said longtime Portland coach Rocco Frenzilli. “Against good teams, we’ve had a difficult time scoring. You can’t win games against a team like Falmouth without taking advantage of opportunities. If you can’t do that, unfortunately, you end up on the short end. I’m proud of the way the kids played. They gave everything. There’s honor in the effort they gave, but credit to Falmouth for getting it done. I wish we could get a break.”

In the victory, Nico Millones scored on a rebound and Ollie Hettenbach also put the ball in the goal.

“It feels great,” said Hettenbach. “We played great as a team. It was great to see how well we played and to get two goals against a good team. We’ve just got to score to win.”

“We’re happy we can win this one,” Millones said.


“I’m pleased with the effort,” added Frenzilli. “Cheverus played us strong and I knew they would. We had a couple little hiccups but nothing the kids didn’t clean up. Tonight, we were able to recover. I feel so good for the guys. I wanted something good to happen to them.”

The Bulldogs finished at home versus Thornton Academy Tuesday.

Cheverus fell to 5-5-3 and was clinging to the 12th and final playoff spot in Class A South at press time following a 4-3 home win over Sanford and a 2-0 loss at Portland last week. In the victory, James Baur scored twice and Luca Colinet and Collin Plalum also tickled the twine. In the setback, the Stags only managed one shot and got five saves from goalkeeper Luke McNabb.

“I thought Luke played great for us tonight,” said Cheverus coach Bill LeBlanc. “We just had a couple bad bounces. We don’t have a lot of depth and we were a little tired. (Portland’s) athletic and they play well together.”

The Stags finished at reigning Class A champion Marshwood Monday.

“We can beat everyone on a given day, but can we do it four or five times?” LeBlanc said. “We’ll take it one at a time and see what happens.”


The boys’ soccer playoffs begin this weekend with the preliminary round on the fields of the higher seeds.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, Cheverus was 9-3 and fifth in the Class A South Heals entering a home game versus Portland Monday (see pressherald.com/forecaster/forecaster-sports/ for game story) and the finale at Biddeford Tuesday. Last week, the Stags blanked host Sanford (1-0) and Massabesic (7-0). Against the Spartans, Sophia Monfa scored the goal and goalkeeper Evelyn Rush stopped six shots. In the win over the Mustangs, Monfa and Annie Vigue both had two goals ad Finley Brown, Lilly Hoyt and Mikayla Talbot also scored.

Portland was 6-6 and 10th in Class A South following a 3-0 home loss to Falmouth last Monday in the rain. Goalie Lucy Tidd made nine saves in the setback.

“We did not lack for chances,” said Bulldogs’ first-year coach Matt Bernstein. “I’m super-proud. I thought we moved the ball really well, but sometimes, it just doesn’t go in. If we keep playing like that, the next time the ball will hit the back of the net.”

Portland went to Cheverus Monday and closed at Thornton Academy Tuesday.


“I told the girls that where we are as a team now is night and day from where we were at the start of the season and that’s all I can ask for,” Bernstein said. “The work the girls has done is huge. Our leadership from our seniors and captains has been immense.”

Deering was 4-8-1 and 12th in Class A South and still entertained playoff hopes entering Tuesday’s home finale versus undefeated, top-ranked Scarborough. Last week, the Rams blanked visiting Westbrook (9-0). Elsa Freeman scored four goals, Shay Rosenthal added three and Anika Gin and Grace Marino also put the ball in the net.

In Class C South, Waynflete was 9-4 and fifth after sandwiching losses at Traip Academy (1-0) and at home to three-time reigning Class D champion North Yarmouth Academy around a 3-0 home win over Sacopee Valley. Ayla Stutzman made 10 saves against the Rangers. In the victory, Lucy Hart scored twice and Iris Stutzman also had a goal. The Flyers closed at Old Orchard Beach Tuesday.

The girls’ soccer playoffs begin this weekend with the preliminary round on the fields of the higher seeds.

Field hockey

Cheverus’ reigning Class A state champion field hockey team hoped to cap a dominant, perfect regular season when it finished up at home versus South Portland/Westbrook Monday. Last week, the Stags, defeated visiting Noble (7-1) and host Sanford (6-0) and now have a goal differential this fall of 108 to 4. In the win over the Knights, Lucy Johnson scored four goals, Taylor Tory added a pair and Olivia McCartney finished with one. Against the Spartans, Johnson, who now holds the program’s single-season scoring record, scored three more goals, while Tory, Lily Johnson and Zoey Redford all tallied one. Cheverus will be the top seed in Class A South and will have a bye into the quarterfinals.


Portland/Deering fell to 0-13 and 15th in Class A South following a 3-0 setback at Falmouth and a 1-0 overtime loss to Bonny Eagle last week. Portland/Deering closed at Kennebunk Monday.

The field hockey playoffs start this weekend with the preliminary round on the fields of the higher seeds.


Deering’s volleyball team was 7-6 and fourth in the Class A Heals after home losses to reigning state champion Scarborough (3-0) and Gray-New Gloucester (3-2). The Rams closed the regular season at Massabesic Monday.

Cheverus finished the regular season 8-6 after a four-set home victory over Thornton Academy last week.

Portland finished 4-10 and was 14th in the Heals at press time, which means the Bulldogs will likely fall short of the postseason.

The volleyball playoffs begin with the state preliminary round Thursday on the courts of the higher seeds.

Cross country

The cross country regional championship meets are this Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland where the state meet will also be held the following Saturday, Oct. 29.

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

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