With two-time defending Class A state champion Cheverus and powerhouse Thornton Academy living up to billing as the favorites in Western Class A football so far this autumn, the identity of who might be the third best team in the region is in doubt.
Although the Scarborough Red Storm will gladly make the claim that, “we’re number three.”
If not even better.
Last Friday evening, the Red Storm, which blanked host Kennebunk in its opener, 22-0, made an even bigger statement by racing to a 35-0 lead before settling for a 35-18 triumph over visiting perennial power Bonny Eagle.
Scarborough, which had lost all three previous meetings to the Scots, including a 34-20 home decision last fall, raced to a 15-0 lead after one quarter on a TD run from junior Dan LeClair and a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Dillon Russo (8-of-15 passing, 121 yards, two scores) to junior Chris Cyr (2 receptions, 42 yards and a touchdown). A long TD run from Russo (90 yards and a TD on 11 carries), an interception return for a score by senior Merrick Madden and a Russo-to-senior-Greg Viola (2 catches, 32 yards and a score) TD pass gave the Red Storm a stunning 35-0 lead at halftime.
While the Scots made it respectable with a third quarter TD and two more in the fourth, this was one of Scarborough’s signature victories.
“Friday was a good win for our program,” said Red Storm coach Lance Johnson. “We measure ourselves against good programs like Bonny Eagle. Nobody is as fundamentally sound as Coach (Kevin) Cooper’s team. They block, get off blocks and tackle as good as any team we face. We had a great team effort, playing well on defense, offense and special teams. Coach Cooper did a great job rallying his team at halftime. Bonny Eagle came out and played a very inspired second half. We made some mistakes and made the game interesting. We still have many things we can improve upon as the season goes along.”
In addition to his offensive dominance, Russo had 14 tackles and four passes defended from his free safety position. Linebacker Nik Pelletier made 13 tackles, caused a fumble and had three passes defended. LeClair had eight tackles, a pass defended, a caused fumble and a fumble recovery. Defensive end Brendon Smith added eight tackles. Linebacker Charlie Raybine had eight tackles and Merrick had three tackles in addition to his interception return for a score.
The Red Storm hopes to keep the good times rolling Friday when it hosts another top team, 2-0 Windham. Last year, Scarborough opened the season with a 21-6 home victory over the Eagles, who are coming off lopsided wins over South Portland and Noble.
Speaking of the Red Riots, they’re 0-2 following a 23-7 setback at Biddeford. The Red Riots opened with a 47-13 home loss to Windham and were only down 7-0 at halftime to the Tigers (whom they beat, 21-6, in the teams’ last meeting, Oct. 4, 2008). After falling behind, 14-0, South Portland made it 14-7 on a short TD run from junior Thomas Leddy, but the hosts got a touchdown and a field goal in the fourth period to put it away.
It was Biddeford’s first victory since 2010.
The Red Riots seek their first win Friday, but it won’t come easily as 2-0 Cheverus pays a visit. The Stags have won their first two contests by a composite 85-6 margin and last year, rolled at home over South Portland, 59-21.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth has started 0-2 for the first time as a varsity program. The Capers, who fell, 21-7, at home to defending state champion Wells in the opener, suffered a similar setback Friday, 20-7, at York. It was the first time Cape Elizabeth had lost to the Wildcats since Sept. 17, 2005 (16-8). The Capers’ lone score came from sophomore Ethan Murphy, who caught a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Connor Maguire. York snapped a 7-7 tie with a TD before halftime and got some insurance with another score in the third period.
Cape Elizabeth hopes to get in the win column Friday when it hosts 0-2 Lake Region. Last year, the Capers had no trouble beating the host Lakers, 33-0.
Scarborough senior quarterback Dillon Russo races down the sideline for big yardage during the Red Storm’s impressive 35-18 home win over perennial power Bonny Eagle Friday night.
Scarborough senior Nik Pelletier shows his strength as he brings the Bonny Eagle quarterback down for a loss.