Scarborough junior Eric Quirk wrangles Bonny Eagle senior quarterback Cam Day during the Scots’ 21-7 victory Friday night.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
BE- 7 7 7 0- 21
S- 0 7 0 0- 7
BE Menard 18 pass from Day (Napolitano kick)
BE- Sprague 8 run (Napolitano kick)
S- Dudley 93 kickoff return (Peoples kick)
BE- Theberge 19 interception return (Napolitano kick)
SCARBOROUGH—The good news is that Scarborough’s football team is capable of going toe-to-toe with Bonny Eagle, the preseason favorite to the win the Class A state title.
The bad news Friday night at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex was that the Red Storm aren’t quite at the point where they can avoid shooting themselves in the foot with the game on the line.
One week after stunning defending Class A North champion Portland, Scarborough hosted the Scots, who put up 60 points in their opener.
On the Red Storm’s third offensive play, a 55 yard scamper from junior Owen Garrard was undone by a holding penalty and that set the tone for the night.
Bonny Eagle would strike first, on its second possession, when on fourth down, senior quarterback Cam Day hit junior Kardell Menard for an 18-yard score to put the Scots ahead to stay.
With 3:40 remaining in the first half, Bonny Eagle doubled its lead, as junior Alex Sprague scored on an 8-yard touchdown run, but on the ensuing kickoff, Scarborough junior Cody Dudley raced 93 yards for a score to pull the Red Storm within 14-7 at halftime.
Scarborough had ample opportunities to score in the second half, but just couldn’t get the job done.
Midway through the third quarter, Red Storm junior quarterback Zoltan Panyi was intercepted by Scots senior Cam Theberge, who returned the ball 19 yards for a score which extended the lead to 21-7.
Then, three different times in the fourth period, Scarborough drove inside the Bonny Eagle 5, but each time, the Red Storm came up empty, as an ill-timed holding penalty negated a Panyi TD run, a bad snap ended another drive and in the waning seconds, Panyi was intercepted for a third time and the Scots went on to a 21-7 victory.
Bonny Eagle improved to 2-0, avenged a loss from a season ago and dropped Scarborough to 1-1 in the process.
“We’re just not executing,” lamented Red Storm coach Lance Johnson. “We make too many mistakes and tonight, they came in key situations, but I’m happy with the effort.”
Scarborough appeared to take the next step a week ago when it went to defending Class A North champion Portland and sprung a 14-13 upset.
Bonny Eagle, the preseason favorite to dethrone two-time Class A champion Thornton Academy, dominated host South Portland in its first game, winning by a 60-20 margin.
Entering play Friday, the teams had played eight times since 2003 (see sidebar, below) with the Scots prevailing on six occasions, but last fall, in Standish, the Red Storm sprung a 27-26 upset.
This time around, on what will likely be the warmest night for high school football this autumn, Bonny Eagle found a way to win, but Scarborough learned it was more than capable of competing with the best.
The Scots won the opening coin toss but deferred possession to the second half.
The Red Storm then appeared primed to drive down the field, but after Garrard and senior Aren Dickman both ran for five yards to move the chains, Garrard’s 55-yard burst to the Bonny Eagle 15 was erased by a holding penalty, short-circuiting the drive. Panyi threw incomplete on the next play and after Panyi was thrown for a two-yard loss, Scots junior Alex Smith sacked Panyi for a one-yard loss forcing a punt, which was returned 16 yards by Sprague to set Bonny Eagle up at the Scarborough 36.
Day ran for 13 yards to the 23 on the first play, but Day’s pass to Theberge resulted in a six-yard loss thanks to a nice defensive play from junior Eric Quirk and Day ran for a yard, setting up third-and-15 from the 28. Day ran for eight yards on the next snap, but a blocking in the back penalty backed the visitors up and after Day threw incomplete, junior Nick Thorne only gained three yards and the Red Storm took over on downs at their 27.
After Dudley ran for two yards and senior Tim Carion gained one, Panyi threw incomplete forcing a punt.
Bonny Eagle began its next drive at its 44 and 11 plays and 4 minutes, 47 seconds later, the visitors were ahead for good.
After Sprague got things started with a 12 yard burst. Sprague ran for a yard on the next play, then hit Theberge for 14 on a slant. After Sprague caught a three-yard pass, Day ran for one, then five, setting up fourth-and-1 at Scarborough’s 20, where Day kept the ball and thanks to a second effort spin move, he picked up a yard to move the chains. After an incomplete pass by Day, Sprague ran for four yards and Red Storm junior Jeremy Sendrowski threw Theberge for a three-yard loss on a pass, setting up fourth-and-9 from the 18.
Scarborough’s defense wasn’t able to get the ball back, however, as Day dropped back and threw a rainbow down the left sideline to Menard, who outleaped a defender and made the catch at the pylon, scoring a touchdown for the game’s first points. Junior Christian Napolitano added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
On the first play of the Red Storm’s next drive, Panyi was picked off by Theberge at Scaroborough’s 40 and it appeared Bonny Eagle was in business again.
A clutch defensive play from junior Reece Lagerquist, who threw Day for a five-yard loss, then set the tone for a nice stand. On the final play of the first period, Thorne ran four yards and on the first play of the second quarter, Day threw incomplete forcing a punt.
Scarborough took over at its 15 and began to march, as Garrard picked up 10 yards, Carion ran for three and Garrard ran for 13 more for a first down at the 41. Dickman was held to a yard and Garrard was stuffed for no gain, but Panyi scrambled for 11 yards and a first down at the Scots’ 47. That’s as far as the Red Storm would advance, however, as Garrard was thrown for a three-yard loss and Panyi threw two incomplete passes, forcing a punt.
That led to disaster, as Dudley fielded a low snap with his knee on the turf and the ball was downed at the Scarborough 37.
Bonny Eagle wasn’t able to take advantage, however, as after Day hit senior Hunter Tompson for 19 yards and Sprague ran for eight yards, Dudley forced a fumble and senior Anthony Simoneau pounced on it at the Red Storm 7.
Scarborough got out of the shadow of its end zone as Panyi ran for 16 yards, After Garrard ran twice for three yards, Panyi completed his first pass of the night, an 11-yarder to senior Connor Kelly for a first down. Garrard ran for seven yards, then burst free for 20 for a first down at the Scots’ 36. On the next play, after scrambling, Panyi hit Dickman for eight yards, but after throwing incomplete on the next snap, the Red Storm incurred another costly penalty, this one offensive interference. Panyi ran for eight yards, but that set up fourth-and-9 and Panyi’s pass was batted down by Sprague, giving Bonny Eagle the ball at its 35.
Sprague then took over on the offensive end as well, leading the Scots on a 65 yard march which only needed four plays and 54 seconds.
On the first play, Sprague broke a tackle in the backfield, then raced up the left sideline for 42 yards. On the next snap, Thorne ran for eight yards, but upon being tackled, he remained on the turf and eventually had to leave on a stretcher. Day ran for seven yards to set up a first-and-goal at the 8 and Sprague capped the march by breaking another tackle en route to an 8-yard TD run with 3:40 remaining before halftime. Napolitano’s PAT extended Bonny Eagle’s lead to 14-0.
And it lasted all of 14 seconds.
Dudley took the ensuing kickoff at his 7, found a seam and ran up the gut before cutting left to avoid Napolitano. Dudley then outraced the pursuit all the way to the end zone to complete a dazzling 93-yard scoring return. Senior Emmett Peoples added the extra point and just like that, the Red Storm were back within a touchdown, trailing, 14-7, with all the momentum.
The Scots tried to answer, as Day ran for eight yards and Sprague three to move the chains and after Garrard held Day to no gain, Day ran for nine yards, then five, to set up a first down at the 45, but a sack from Scarborough senior Matt Cook, an incomplete pass and a nine-yard Day run set the stage for a one-yard punt from Napolitano.
With 49 seconds remaining before halftime, the Red Storm started at the Bonny Eagle 46, but they couldn’t take advantage of the promising field position.
Panyi threw incomplete on first down, but he scrambled for 14 on the next snap. After Panyi lost a yard, he ran for three, but an illegal procedure penalty backed Scarborough up and after a Panyi spike to stop the clock with 1.6 seconds showing, Panyi had to scramble and gained 13 yards before being brought down at the Scots’ 22 as time expired in the half.
Bonny Eagle held a 184-107 edge in first half yardage, as Sprague picked up 78 yards and scored a touchdown on seven carries and Day ran 12 times for 54 yards and completed 6-of-10 passes for 44 yards and a TD.
Panyi’s eight rushes for 62 yards and Garrard’s 55 yards on nine attempts kept Scarborough close.
The Red Storm’s frustrations continued in the second half.
The Scots got the ball to start the third period and they kept possession for almost five minutes but couldn’t score.
Sprague got things started with successive nine-yard runs to set up a first down at the 41. After Day was held to a yard and Sprague gained six, Day broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and picked up 11 yards for a first down at the Scarborough 41. After Theberge picked up eight yards, Day ran for 10 and a first down at the 23. Day picked up four yards on the next snap, but he threw incomplete on second down and after Day ran for two yards, setting up fourth-and-4 from the 17, Dudley stopped Sprague at the 14, a yard short of the first down, and the Red Storm took over.
And they promptly went backwards.
A bad snap on first down forced Garrard to recover the ball at the 2.
The next play was even worse, as Panyi ran a play action, dropped back and appeared to have an open receiver behind the defense, but his throw was short and was picked off by Theberge, who ran to his right and found an open path to the end zone where he completed his 19-yard interception return with 6:05 to go in the third quarter. Napolitano added the extra point and Bonny Eagle was ahead, 21-7.
The Scots’ defense kept the pressure on by forcing a three-and-out (Dickman ran for five yards, Panyi was thrown for a four-yard loss and a sack from Napolitano forced a punt).
Bonny Eagle got the ball back at its 30 with a chance to seize firm control of the contest and the Scots kept possession of the ball the rest of the third period.
After Day scrambled for a yard and Sprague picked up eight, Day moved the chains with a two-yard run. Runs of five and 11 yards by Sprague set up a first down at Scarborough’s 43. After Sprague and Day each lost a yard, Sprague ran for two yards on the final play of the quarter.
The fourth period began with a 33 yard Napolitano punt, which was returned 20 yards by Dudley to the Red Storm’s 30.
Scarborough then marched toward futility.
Panyi broke free for 15 yards on first down, then gained 20 more before fumbling, but fortunately for the hosts, senior Drew LeClair was there to recover at the Bonny Eagle 30. Panyi then hit Dudley for seven yards and Panyi ran 13 yards to the 10. A five-yard burst from Garrard was followed by some bad luck, as a Panyi pass to Lagerquist was inadvertently broken up by the back judge. On third down, Garrard ran to the 2 and Panyi appeared to score on the next snap when he beat the defense to the left pylon, but a flag was thrown, holding was called and the ball was placed back at the 12, where Panyi’s pass to Dudley was a little behind the receiver and dropped, giving the Scots possession on downs at their 12 with 8:15 remaining.
A holding penalty backed the visitors up and two Day runs gained just one yard and Day threw incomplete, forcing a punt.
The Red Storm started again from the Bonny Eagle 49 and quickly drove to the brink of paydirt.
Panyi started the march with an 18-yard pass to LeClair, which deflected off Scots senior defender Parker Gammon. The duo then hooked up for six yards and Panyi ran for 16 to set up a first-and-goal at the 9. After successive incomplete passes, Panyi kept the ball, ran right and appeared headed for the end zone before Day made a terrific athletic play to trip him up at the 1. After a timeout, Scarborough had one play to draw closer, but again, the Red Storm weren’t up for the challenge as Panyi bobbled the snap before being swarmed upon for a four-yard loss.
With 4:37 left, Bonny Eagle took over at its 5 and hoped to run out the clock.
The Scots got first downs when Day ran for eight yards, then three and Sprague broke free for a dozen yards, but a nice play by Dickman and Garrard threw Sprague for a loss and Bonny Eagle had to punt.
With just under a minute to go, Scarborough got the ball for the final time, starting at its 28. Panyi immediately connected with Dickman for 33 yards, Kelly for 15 and Panyi ran for 18 more, setting up a first-and-goal at the 6, but on the next snap, Panyi was intercepted by junior Connor Sirois at the 1 and that proved to be the dagger.
“Seeing how the first half ended with us losing one of our best players and giving up the kickoff return and them having momentum at halftime, our guys battled in the second half and we rose up and made plays when we needed to,” said Bonny Eagle coach Kevin Cooper.
Day bulled forward for a yard on the final snap of the game and the Scots were able to celebrate their 21-7 victory.
“We’re not surprised, we knew Scarborough’s a good team,” said Cooper. “Credit to those guys. They battled us and gave us a game we needed to improve. They’ll win a lot of games. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those guys again in the playoffs. They shouldn’t lack confidence. We knew they’d be good back in the summer. Lance does a great job. We have a lot of respect for the Scarborough kids for how they battled us.”
Bonny Eagle held a 306-255 edge in total yardage and forced three turnovers while only committing one. The Scots were penalized just four times for 18 yards.
Day ran 27 times for 101 yards and completed 6-of-12 passes for 44 yards and a score.
Sprague ran 19 times for 146 yards and a TD.
Scarborough turned the ball over three times and was flagged four times for 37 yards. The Red Storm also missed some tackles at inopportune times.
Panyi finished just 7-of-22 passing for 98 yards and three interceptions. He was much more effective running the ball, gaining 144 yards on 16 carries.
Garrard finished with 63 yards on 11 rushes.
Dickman caught two passes for 41 yards, Kelly had two grabs for 26 and LeClair had two catches for 24. Dudley caught one ball for 7 yards.
“Offensively, it was the same story as last week,” Johnson said. “We’re having trouble executing. That’s our youth. We only play a few seniors and we have four underclassmen on the line. We have a new quarterback back there.
“The defense played really well again. Two weeks in a row, our defense has pitched a shutout in the second half.
“We played hard, we just made too many mistakes. (Bonny Eagle’s) a good team and they’re very well coached. I can’t say I”m encouraged right now because I expected to win and I expect a lot out of our guys, but we’ll get better.”
Bonny Eagle finally gets to play at home Friday when 0-2 Bangor pays a visit. The Scots have a very challenging remaining slate, which includes home games versus Deering and Sanford, a trip to Windham and of course, the “Game of the Year, Part I,” Oct. 21, when Thornton Academy comes to Standish for a contest which will likely determine the top seed in the region.
“We’d rather be talked about as being one of the best teams instead of one of the worst,” Cooper said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the guys for how they’ve practiced and played hard, but we have a lot of blocks we’re not quite getting, we’re missing holes, we have to improve our passing game and our edge defense. There are still plenty of things we can improve on.”
Scarborough stays home next Friday and will look to bounce back when 0-2 Massabesic pays a visit. Last fall, the Red Storm handled the Mustangs in Waterboro, 54-14.
“I think we can play with everybody in the state if we dedicate ourselves and work hard enough,” Johnson said. “We’ve preached that to the kids since last January. We just need to keep improving and we have to execute better.”
Scarborough junior quarterback Zoltan Panyi unleashes a pass as Bonny Eagle junior Christian Napolitano bears down.
Scarborough junior Owen Garrard races free down the field.
Scarborough juniors Cody Dudley (15) and Owen Garrard bring down Bonny Eagle junior Alex Sprague.
Scarborough junior Jeremy Sendrowski, left, and senior Anthony Simoneau sandwich Bonny Eagle senior Cam Theberge.
Scarborough junior Cody Dudley brings back a kickoff 93 yards for the Red Storm’s lone touchdown.
Dudley is mobbed by his teammates after scoring the touchdown.
Scarborough 27 @ Bonny Eagle 26
Bonny Eagle 49 @ Scarborough 6
@ Bonny Eagle 34 Scarborough 26
Western A semifinals
@ Bonny Eagle 27 Scarborough 0
@ Scarborough 35 Bonny Eagle 18
Bonny Eagle 34 @ Scarborough 20
@ Bonny Eagle 44 Scarborough 6
Bonny Eagle 27 @ Scarborough 0