Lewiston’s Tanner Cortes runs to the end zone for the first touchdown of the night in Lewiston on Friday. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — Lewiston quickly capitalized on multiple turnovers by Windham all game, and with quarterback Tanner Cortes leading the way earned a convincing 42-7 Class A North football win Friday at Don Roux Field.

Cortes scored three offensive touchdowns, and on defense returned his second interception of the game 45 yards for a touchdown, his second pick-six in as many weeks for the Blue Devils.

“The past three weeks he has been one of the better football players in the state of Maine,” Lewiston head coach Bruce Nicholas said. “He’s thrown for over a hundred yards or so a game, he had two interceptions. He has really matured. He is a leader, and he wants to win really bad.”

Cortes led Lewiston down the field on its second drive of the game with the contest still scoreless. Cortes was responsible for 44 yards on the drive, but running back Hunter Landry was stopped at the goal line, giving the ball back to Windham.

On the next play, Lewiston’s Danny May tallied his first of three sacks on the night for a safety, one of many mistakes by Windham that were capitalized on by the Blue Devils.

On the ensuing drive, Cortes ran the ball in from eight yards out after being set up by a 22-yard run by May.

“(Windham) have been struggling recently, and if you make a mistake then sometimes the best thing to do is to come right back at them the next play, and I’ve been on the other side of that,” Nicholas said. “We tried to go big after a turnover.”

It was much of the same for Lewiston in the second quarter when, after forcing a punt, the Blue Devils started their drive on Windham’s 48-yard line. Cortes dropped back on the first play and threw a bomb down the left sideline to Landry for his second touchdown of the game.

The ensuing drive for Windham was its best of the night. The Eagles, led by running back Stuart Salom, drove 60 yards down the field and scored on a six-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Gugliuzza to Garrett Peeples to cut the deficit to 15-7 just before halftime.

Windham was stopped on its next drive to start the second half. Lewiston then scored on a one-yard May run.

“We had some penalties that caught us,” Windham head coach Matt Perkins said. “At 15-7, we had a stop but then a penalty and they got the ball back. … There was a blown coverage here and missed assignment here. We had a lot of opportunities we didn’t capitalize on.”

Near the end of the third, Gugliuzza threw an interception to Cortes, and on the next Lewiston play, Landry took a toss to the right side for a 10-yard score.

Anthony threw an interception on his next drive to Jaheim Whiting, and Cortes, a few plays later, threw his favorite touchdown of the night to Lucas Nichols for 24 yards to make it 35-7 Lewiston.

“We had been working on that (backside post) all season, all summer,” Cortes said. “I looked through my progressions and I hit Lucas in the middle of the field, and, I don’t know, it felt good to look at one, two, three is open.”

Cortes later jumped a screen pass and ran it back 45 yards for a touchdown.

“Same thing happened last week, actually,” Cortes said. “They ran a bubble screen and I was just looking for it all game. The second-string quarterback came in and didn’t make the right read and I just capitalized on it.”

The win puts Lewiston in firmly in a playoff spot in Class A North after its win against Bangor a week prior and Windham on Friday.

“It’s hard to describe because we had a tough first half of the season,” Cortes said. “We came out hard last week and we wanted to come out hard on this brand-new field. It feels awesome to lead that team, we all played well and it’s a good feeling.”

Lewiston’s Hunter Landry runs the ball to the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter of Friday night’s football game in Lewiston and Windham’s Derek Palow gives chase. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Tanner Cortes looks past Windham’s Kaleb Cidre for a teammate to pass the ball to in Friday night’s football game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Danny May runs past Windham’s Stuart Salom as George Butts comes up into the play from behind during Friday night’s football game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)


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