For the second time in three seasons, the Scarborough football team reached the Western Class A semifinals, but could go no further.
This time, the Thornton Academy Golden Trojans proved to be too tough, defeating the Red Storm, 49-14, to set up a regional final showdown at two-time defending Class A state champion Cheverus Saturday, the final that everyone expected all along.
Scarborough did its best to prevent that from happening.
After a solid 6-2 regular season, the Red Storm earned the No. 3 ranking in Western Class A and pulled away from No. 6 Sanford in the quarterfinals, 42-16.
That sent Scarborough to No. 2 Thornton Academy Saturday afternoon. The teams met in the regular season (Sept. 29, in Saco) and the Golden Trojans won, 35-7, in a game that was closer than the final score indicated.
This time around, Thornton Academy put the game away by the end of the first period.
After the hosts scored early, the Red Storm tied it, 7-7, on a long touchdown pass from Dillon Russo to Merrick Madden, but by the end of the quarter, the Golden Trojans had a commanding 26-7 lead, thanks to a couple TD runs from standout Andrew Libby and a long touchdown pass from Eric Christensen to Cody Lynn.
By halftime, the Thornton Academy lead was 42-7, thanks to two short Christensen TD runs. The Golden Trojans added another score in the third period. A 1-yard TD run from Scarborough’s Dan LeClair in the fourth quarter accounted for the 49-14 final score.
We got beat by a very solid TA team,” said Scarborough coach Lance Johnson. “Their kicker put the first three kickoffs in the end zone, so we started our first three drives on the 20-yard line. TA was very physical on both sides of the ball which made it difficult for us to stop them or to get any consistency on offense. Coach Kezal and Coach Agreste did a great job game planning and getting their team ready to play.”
Russo finished with 81 rushing yards and threw for 155 more and a touchdown.
“Dillon ended his excellent senior year by again leading us on offense and defense,” Johnson said. “On defense he was our leading tackler with 19 tackles. Dillon has thrown for over 1,600 yards and 16 TDs this season. He has also rushed for over 800 yards and 6 TDs. On defense, he was our leading tackler, averaging over nine tackles a game from his safety position. He was also our punt returner and holder for placekicks. He is one of the best competitors I have ever seen in the SMAA.”
The Red Storm finished 7-3, its second best record ever in Class A.
“We had a great group of seniors this year led by Dillon, Nate McLellan and Merrick Madden,” Johnson said. “Guys who set good examples on and off the field. We feel things in Scarborough are moving in the correct direction, having now been in the playoffs three years in a row.
“Next year, we have an outstanding junior class returning. We return six starters in our front seven on defense. On offense we return many fullbacks, tailbacks and tight ends who contributed this season. We will need to rebuild on the offensive line. We are already preparing for next year and are really enthused by the effort and commitment of our players at Scarborough.”