LEWISTON — When Portland coach Jim Hartman saw Lewiston’s middle exposed and vulnerable, the Bulldogs handed the ball over to running back Justin Zukowski, who had no problem finding his way to the end zone three times.

Zukowski did most of the heavy work on offense and he was equally formidable on defense. The Bulldogs rushed for 371 yards and Zukowski’s three touchdowns certainly didn’t hurt as Portland dismissed Lewiston with a 42-6 victory in a Class A football game at Don Roux Field.

“This kid (Zukowski) here, on both sides of the ball, did a great job,” Hartman said. “I don’t like to do that much running with him. That’s unusual, but they put eight, nine guys outside and they left the middle open. This is what they gave us and this is what we took. He’s a great kid, a great leader.”

Zukowski didn’t mind doing the brunt of the running. It was all in a night’s work for the humble running back.

“I like getting the ball,” Zukowski said. “Like coach said, they were leaving the middle open. They left the middle open and the offensive line did a great job.”

But there were a few brief moments when the Blue Devils could have made it a tight game.

Portland, which didn’t punt the entire game, punched in the first touchdown on the first possession of the game. Bulldogs quarterback Jordan Talbot connected with Brett Howell with a 29-yard touchdown pass and John Williams booted the extra point.

The Blue Devils responded with their only touchdown when quarterback Eddie Emerson found an open Ace Curry with a 10-yard touchdown pass.

That was the last time Lewiston would see the end zone. The Bulldogs scored right after Curry’s TD. Zukowski pushed and shoved his way from the 25-yard line and scored his first touchdown. In the second quarter, Talbot zipped over a 30-yard TD pass to Domenic Fagone, giving the Portland 21-6 cushion going into the second half.

“Mentally, we still play a lot of young guys and we never really got over the fact that Portland tucked one with a minute to go in the first half,” Lewiston coach Bill County said. “We’ve got to learn that you come out in the second half and put that behind you and just play football. The kids were a little flat in the second half and a little discouraged.

“Portland is a lot like us but a little more mature. They have got some great speed and their maturity is up front. They have five good offensive lineman that have played their before. Their offensive line kind of took over in the second half.”

The third quarter belonged to Zukowski, who scored back-to-back touchdowns on 14- and 2-yard rushes. Williams topped off Zukowski’s exploits with a pair of extra-point kicks, giving Portland an insurmountable 35-6 lead.

Talbot kept the ball and rushed rushed 27 yards for the final touchdown with 1:35 left in the game to seal Lewiston’s fate.


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