BANGOR, Maine — The Deering Rams used two first-half touchdowns and a stout defense to shade Bangor 12-7 in a Class A football matchup at Cameron Stadium on Friday night.
Deering had lost its first two games to perennial power Thornton Academy of Saco and defending Class A state champion Scarborough by a combined 117-6.
Bangor, which ended an 18-game losing streak with a Week 2 win over Windham, also is 1-2 with a road game coming up at Oxford Hills of South Paris on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Bangor used a 57-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Zach Milliken to senior wideout Tristan Stewart to draw within five points with 10:24 left in the game.
Stewart ran a slant pattern from the left side and caught the pass in stride, then headed toward the left sideline. Deering’s Amani Peeples-Gorman caught up with Stewart at the 15-yard line and tried to punch the ball out, but Stewart held on and reached the end zone to make it a one-possession game.
But that was the lone big play allowed by the Deering defense, which prevented Bangor from mounting a serious scoring threat the rest of the way.
Deering’s speed was the big difference during a first half in which both teams struggled with penalties.
Bangor was unable to get much going offensively, managing only one first down and 36 total yards against a Deering defense led by junior linebacker Chauncy Alado, who had one quarterback sack and three other tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Deering’s offense overcame five high center snaps that cost the Portland team 69 yards from scrimmage to finish the half with 179 total yards, including 131 rushing yards on 24 carries.
Deering broke on top on a 22-yard run by fullback Michael Randall to cap off a six-play, 43-yard drive that was set up by a 36-yard punt by Max Morrione that had pinned Bangor at its own 7-yard line on its previous possession.
Deering doubled its lead on its next possession, this time driving 56 yards — although in actuality 68 yards after the first play of the march produced a high center snap and a 12-yard loss.
Sophomore quarterback James Opio raced around right end on the next play, and a subsequent gain of 18 yards by Travis Soule led to a 25-yard touchdown on a reverse by senior wideout Ben Onek to make it 12-0 with 9:34 left before halftime.
Deering threatened again before intermission advancing from its 43 to the Bangor 10 before a 26-yard field goal try by Max Morrione fell short as the halftime buzzer sounded.