Dakota Tarbox missed Thornton Academy’s football game in Week Two, and the Trojans lost to South Portland 20-16.

His return Saturday afternoon was one of the reasons the Trojans were able to rebound and beat Windham 7-0.

His stats weren’t eye-opening — two 21-yard catches of offense (the first setting up the game’s only touchdown), two solo tackles and an interception on defense — but his emotion and whirlwind play were big factors.

Tarbox constantly came off the edge to put pressure in Windham’s backfield.

“We certainly missed him last week,” said Coach Kevin Kezal, of Tarbox, who missed the SP game with a concussion. “It’s good to get him back. He’s a good player, as you can see.

“He’s athletic, he runs well, he’s a physical kid.”

And he provides a spark to the Trojans.

“He’s a motorhead. He hits people hard and makes things happen,” senior linebacker Chris Madden said.

A motorhead?

“He never stops,” said junior linebacker Bobby Begin, who had 15 tackles.

“Yeah,” said Madden. “He does not stop and it’s great to have him back.”

“I hate missing games,” said Tarbox. “And this week I tried to come back and get the emotion back in practice, get the emotion back on the field. And I think our defense really stepped it up and brought us back together.”

In Thornton’s two wins, the Trojans have allowed only six points.

WINDHAM’S 0-3 start is stunning to many. The Eagles were expected to contend for not only a playoff berth, but the regional crown.

Now, said quarterback T.D. O’Brien, “We have to run the table, (finish) 5-3. Hope to get into the playoffs. With the players we have, we definitely can do it.”

Coach Matt Perkins didn’t want to look that far ahead.

“We just have to win (next) week,” he said, of Windham’s game against Kennebunk.

BONNY EAGLE is not used to 0-3 starts to its football season.

The Scots have talent, but it is taking time to put it together. That has been difficult against Thornton (2-1), Massabesic (3-0) and Cheverus (3-0).

Next up is 2-1 Scarborough.

“It’s a tough schedule but it comes with the territory,” Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper said.

The Scots are looking to get more consistent on offense. Quarterback Tyson Goodale can run (134 yards on Friday), but Cooper wants more from his offense.

“We took some strides with Tyson as a runner,” Cooper said. “We still have a ways to go in the passing game.”

CHEVERUS FOOTBALL increased its winning streak to 15 Friday night as the Stags continue stagger their opponents.

After the first 1 1/2 quarters, Cheverus and Bonny Eagle traded touchdowns — but the Stags already had a 21-0 lead.

In their 42-18 win over the Scots, the Stags passed only six times because the running game was controlling matters. Spencer Cooke got the headlines with his 140 yards on the ground, but fullback Brent Green (68 yards) and quarterback Cam Olson (31 yards) give the Stags other options.

On defense, Olson played a strong game at safety.

The Stags (3-0) are one of three teams in Western Class A still undefeated, along with Deering and Massabesic.

WHEN SCARBOROUGH beat Cheverus 4-0 in boys’ soccer on Saturday, it ended the Stags’ undefeated season this fall. Cheverus’ football, field hockey, girls’ soccer and boys’ and girls’ cross country teams have yet to lose.

ATHLETES FROM some schools are showing up in uniform for community events. Last weekend, Cheverus athletes from various fall sports took part in the 9/11 Memorial March up Congress Street. On Sunday, athletes from North Yarmouth Academy joined the 14th annual Walk to Cure Diabetes, although members of the soccer, field hockey, cross country, volleyball and even golf teams ran around Back Cove instead of walking.

“A few years ago we had a few kids with (juvenile) diabetes,” said sixth-year cross country Coach Peter Sillin. “So we made it a big school-wide event. We’ve done it every year I’ve been coaching.”

Among the approximately 80 kids was Johnny Quirk, a freshman soccer player who warmed up for his jaunt around Back Cove by running the Portland Trails 10K earlier Sunday morning in a little more than an hour.

“Just goes to show you,” cross country Coach Chris Mazzurco said with mock disgust. “Teenagers don’t make good decisions.”

AN INTERESTING situation developed late in South Portland’s 42-34 football victory over visiting Sanford on Friday. After thwarting Sanford’s attempt at a two-point conversion and recovering the ensuing onside kick attempt, the Red Riots had the ball and a 35-34 advantage with 1:48 remaining.

After one running play, Sanford used its final timeout. South Portland’s Dan Medeci then carried to the 7, from where the Red Riots could have run out the clock by simply taking a knee two or three times. Instead, Medeci ran off tackle for a touchdown, Joey DiBiase kicked the extra point and suddenly Sanford, after receiving a short kickoff, needed only 60 yards for a touchdown and potential two-point conversion that could have tied the game.

“As I look back, (we) should have taken a knee,” said South Portland Coach Steve Stinson. “You’re trying to pound the thing in. And looking back at it, I certainly learned from that.”

— Staff Writers Mike Lowe, Kevin Thomas and Glenn Jordan contributed to this report.