LEWISTON — Sanford and Lewiston played a relatively quiet first half to open the 2022 football season, but the visiting Spartans took control of the game on both sides of halftime and rolled to a 34-6 victory Friday at Don Roux Field.

Sanford’s two 220-pound running backs, senior Jordan Bissonnette and junior Cam Suhy, each scored around halftime: Bissonnette with 1:20 left in the first half, and Suhy just 11 seconds into the second half. That turned the contest from a one-score game to a three-touchdown advantage for the Spartans (1-0).

“It’s important that when the momentum shifts, to be able to respond through adversity,” first-year Lewiston coach Jason Versey said. “And we initially didn’t do that. So we just need to respond better.”

Bissonnette was able to break out for big plays when the Spartans needed him to in the first half. He took a turn receiving the shotgun snap and completed a 41-yard pass to Makai Bougie. That set up Bissonnette’s first score, a 3-yard touchdown run, on the next play to give Sanford a 6-0 lead late in the first quarter.

“That was huge because it also kind of set the tone for us that it loosened things up, from the standpoint of we got into a spread set, we were able to get the ball down the field,” Sanford coach Mike Fallon said. “Which is big because we were inside the tackles a lot with our run game, and we feel like we got a pretty good run game in there. But to be able to spread people out and then get athletes vertical, and get behind the defense, and hit a big one like that, that was really big.”

On Sanford’s fourth possession, the Spartans called only running plays for Bissonnette and Suhy. Bissonnette finished off the drive with a 19-yard touchdown run up the middle, bringing a Lewiston defender with him as he fell across the goal line. Alex Sevigny’s extra-point made it 13-0 Sanford with 1:20 left in the first half.


Bissonnette also pitched in on defense with a pair of tackles-for-loss as Lewiston’s offense struggled to string plays together.

“I think our run game was strong (in the first half),” Versey said. “I think it was an evenly matched battle between two really good — I think — football teams. And we’re both young.”

The Blue Devils’ most promising drive in the first half was their first, but Sanford’s Jake Doughty intercepted Lewiston’s first pass of the game to end a possession that took the Blue Devils to the Spartans’ 36-yard line.

The Blue Devils completed only one pass in the game, which went for a loss of a yard.

Lewiston (0-1) didn’t cross into Sanford territory again in the first half, during which the Blue Devils were out-gained by the Spartans 172-52. Bissonnette carried the ball 12 times for 86 yards in the opening two quarters.

Things got worse for the Blue Devils early in the second half.


A fumbled snap on the first play of the third quarter was recovered by Sanford at Lewiston’s 13-yard line. Suhy ran it in from 13 yards out on the next play to make it 20-0.

“Honestly, we’re up 13-0 in the first half and obviously we felt like we were in a good place. But we reminded them that that’s nothing to get comfortable with,” Fallon said. “… So, huge break, obviously, to start the half to get the fumble recovery and punch the football in the end zone.

“But, again, at that point, when that’s done, there’s (11:49 left in the third quarter). … So I reminded them, like, ‘Fellas, we got to keep grinding.’ And that’s what I’m proud of tonight, is that they kept taking it one play at a time and kept playing hard right to the end, so we’re pretty pleased with that.”

Sanford scored again on a quick drive after a Lewiston three-and-out. LJ McFarland carried the ball on four of five plays, capped by a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Spartans a 27-0 lead.

“We feel like we got some pretty good balance in our backfield, and we can distribute the ball a little bit,” Fallon said. “So, stay healthy (and) I think we’ll be fairly competitive.”

Jibril Holloman breathed some life into the Blue Devils by returning the ensuing kickoff just across midfield. Two plays later, Eli Bigelow broke out of the backfield for a 49-yard touchdown run. The extra-point failed, but Lewiston was on the scoreboard, trailing Sanford 27-6 with 5:50 left in the third quarter.


“Anytime you can get a charge, a boost, from a big play is wonderful,” Versey said. “You want to be able to carry that into another play and another play, but they had done too much for us to really counter and come back from.”

Fallon said Bigelow “can run like the wind,” and so the Sanford coaching staff was worried about him a lot. He finished as Lewiston’s most productive runner, gaining 80 yards on six carries.

Sanford quickly answered Bigelow’s touchdown. The Spartans started the next drive on their own 43-yard line, ran it five times into Lewiston territory, then Sevigny connected with McFarland on a screen pass that McFarland took 30 yards for a touchdown. That gave Sanford a 34-6 lead late in the third quarter.

The Spartans’ defense hung tough when Lewiston drove into Sanford territory, stopping the Blue Devils on fourth-and-1 at the Spartans’ 22-yard line.

Bissonnette carried the ball for 7 yards on the next play, giving him an even 100 on 14 carries.

Sanford finished the game with a 353-137 advantage in total yards.

“At the end of the day, they were the better team today, and they were great competitors,” Versey said. “And I’m very proud how we played, but we just got to grow and get better. That’s all. A little bit better every week.”

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