Football: Leavitt makes most of his trip to Portland, beats the Bulldogs

Leavitt’s football team feels they should have been at Fitzpatrick Stadium last November, but a loss to Cape Elizabeth in the last game of the Class C South final prevented that from happening.

Instead, the Hornets capitalized on their appearance on the big stage Friday night against the Portland Bulldogs.

Leavitt, riding the versatile brilliance of junior quarterback Noah Carpenter, scored on his first practice, opened up a 28-0 halftime advantage and cruised to a 42-8 win to move to 2- 0 in the young season.

“We were all excited to come here and play in one of the best stadiums in Maine,” said Carpenter, who completed 9 of 13 passes for 93 yards and rushed nine times for 112 yards and three touchdowns. “Everyone showed up and it was just the best experience.”

The Hornets got possession to start the contest and rushed for 66 yards in nine plays to take the lead to stay on a 10-yard touchdown run by Will Keach.

Portland, which lost starting quarterback Sam Esposito to a broken collarbone in last week’s win over Kennebunk, held on for the rest of the first quarter, but Leavitt opened the scoring in the second.

First, Carpenter scored on a 10-yard run and Maddox Demers added the 2-point conversion.

Then, after a successful onside kick followed by a fake punt, Keach scored for the second time, this one from 10 yards out.

A 3-yard run from Carpenter and a 2-point run from Braxton Rowe made it 28-0 at halftime.

The Bulldogs rose from the deck in the third quarter, as sophomore quarterback Louis Thurston (5 of 8, 105 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions) found Remijo Wani for a 61-yard strike, but Carpenter replied by escaping for a 59-yard score to make it 36-8.

The Hornets then added a final touchdown in the fourth quarter, as Demers scored on a 3-yard flurry.

“The chance to play in Portland, in Portland, doesn’t come around often for teams like us,” Hornets coach Michael Hathaway said. “Congratulations to our guys for getting enough respect to get a game like this. It was great to come and play in an atmosphere like this.

Portland coach Jason McLeod says his team has done some positive things, but with Bonny Eagle and Oxford Hills looming on the horizon, the Bulldogs need to figure things out quickly.

“We just can’t make the mistakes we made in the first half,” he said. “We made mistakes in all three phases of the first half and they took advantage of that. In the second half we did things that we can build on.

“He’s the next man. We want a tough schedule and playing against the teams, but if we don’t improve it could be a long season. We just have to tighten things up and improve week by week.

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