GARDINER — Cape Elizabeth looked as if it would run over Gardiner on Saturday night after they opened the game with an 11-play scoring drive, all on the ground.

But the Tigers defense stiffened after that and the offense made some big plays before falling to the Capers 21-13 in a Class C Campbell Conference game at Hoch Field.

Gardiner is 1-1, Cape is 2-0.

“We fought back,” Gardiner coach Joe White said. “Tonight I thought it was pretty evenly matched and the team that made the fewest mistakes was going to walk out of here with a W.”

The Tigers answered Cape’s opening drive with one of their own. Quarterback Cole Heaberlin hit Collin Foye for 32 yards down the left sideline on Gardiner’s first play from scrimmage and a 17-yard run by Nate Malinowski coupled with a personal foul penalty put the Tigers at the Cape 12-yard line. Two plays later, Heaberlin hit Riley True in the right corner for the tying touchdown on a nice throw and catch with a defender in True’s face.

“That’s a great team we just played and we kept up with them,” Heaberlin said. “The receivers did great. We’ve really been repping it all week.”

Heaberlin completed 8 of 16 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, but also threw three interceptions, one of those a tipped pass and another in desperation time in the final minute.

Gardiner adjusted to Cape’s running game, led by fullback Ryan Weare and tailback Jack Glanville, both seniors. Glanville rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns in the first half in last week’s win, but was held to 85 yards on 19 carries Saturday night. Weare finished with 53 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

Glanville made his presence felt in other areas. He returned a kickoff 65 yards to set up Cape’s second score and picked off two of Heaberlin’s passes.

“I feel pretty comfortable playing on all sides of the ball,” Glanville said.

Cape Elizabeth led 14-7 at the half and went up 21-7 with a long drive in the third quarter. By this time, Gardiner’s defense had bottled up Glanville and Weare and the Capers went to the air. Junior quarterback Andrew Hartel completed two third down passes and two more on fourth down to keep a long scoring drive alive.

Gardiner stopped Glanville on three straight carries from the 1-yard line but on fourth down, Hartel found Matt Conley wide open on the left side of the end zone for the touchdown.

The Tigers responded with a long drive spanning the third and fourth quarters. Heaberlin had a 16-yard completion to Foye on third down and another of 32 yards to Kolton Brochu that carried to the Cape 10. Malinowski (eight carries, 58 yards) did the rest with a tackle-breaking run over the left side into the end zone.

Neither team threatened to score after that.

“We’re going to adjust,” Heaberlin said. “We’ll probably play them again. That’s all we want.”