SANFORD – If anyone didn’t know where Sanford High stood among the Western Maine Class A football powers this year, the Redskins provided an answer Friday night.

With senior running back Jon Schroder scoring three touchdowns and the defense forcing four turnovers in the first half, Sanford raced to a 23-12 victory over Scarborough at Cobb Stadium.

Schroder scored on runs of 54 and 31 yards in the fourth quarter to rally the Redskins from a 12-10 deficit. He rushed for 140 yards.

“This is huge,” said Schroder. “Motivationally, it uplifts the spirit of our team and lets us kind of know where we are in this league. It’s a great confidence booster.”

The victory lifted Sanford to 2-0 while Scarborough, a preseason favorite, dropped to 1-1.

The Red Storm were once again led by senior back Scott Thibeault, who rushed for 229 yards. But they made costly turnovers in the first half that stopped four drives, then committed three major penalties in the fourth quarter that blunted two more drives.

It was a very physical game with both sides relying on powerful inside running. And while Sanford gave up a lot of yards in the middle of the field, the Redskins never broke — even when Scarborough took a 12-10 lead on a Merrick Madden 6-yard touchdown run just 1:53 into the fourth.

“There were certain times in the game when I thought maybe the kids might question themselves a bit, like when we went down in the fourth quarter,” said Mike Fallon, coach of the Redskins. “Physically we struggled a bit. They were bigger than us and were really grinding us a couple of times.

“But the kids never once gave up on it. They’re a group of fighters. I couldn’t be prouder. They played hard tonight.”

And they responded quickly after falling behind. Just three plays after Madden’s touchdown gave Scarborough the lead, Schroder broke his 54-yard run, taking an inside hand-off around left end and running away from the secondary. After the conversion rush failed, it was 16-12 with 9:09 left.

Scarborough responded and appeared to have a first down at the Sanford 10 after a long pass. But the Red Storm was hit with a 15-yard personal foul on the play, negating the gain and Scarborough had to punt.

Schroder put the game away with his 31-yard run — same play, just a cutback to the right — with 1:04 left.

Scarborourgh lost two fumbles in the first half and Sanford intercepted two passes. The Redskins took a 3-0 halftime lead on a 32-yard field goal by Jimmie Chaisson as the time expired.

Scarborough concentrated much of its defense on stopping Sanford’s Alex Shain, who rushed for 86 tough yards after gaining 264 last week. Schroder stepped up.

“You give him the slightest bit of space and he’s off,” said Sanford senior guard James Titcomb. “You just have to block for a second and he’s gone, he has that kind of speed.”

For Titcomb, this was a very satisfying outcome, considering where the Redskins started.

“We knew coming in we were the underdog, no one in the paper picked us,” he said.

“But that’s the way this team is, we’re all going to band together as a unit, do our jobs and move the ball down the field.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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