SANFORD — After scoring all three of his team’s touchdowns and rushing for 169 yards, Scarborough High junior tailback Owen Garrard gave all the credit to his coaches and offensive line.

“Our game plan was just to play hard and I wound up getting the ball and it’s all up to the line. They did a great job,” said the 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior.

But others who were watching, playing or coaching in the game knew that Garrard was a key reason the Red Storm improved to 3-1 with Friday’s 21-12 Class A South victory at Sanford’s Stephen A. Cobb Stadium.

“We can block to an extent,” said center Ben Hughes, “but then when you have a running back who can make his own holes and just run people over it helps.”

Garrard scored on runs of 50, 20, and 4 yards. On the first touchdown, the only score in the first half, he burst around the left end and – aided by a downfield block from wide receiver Peter Mazzaro – won the race to the pylon.

Garrard’s two second-half touchdowns gave Scarborough leads of 14-0 and 21-6 with conversion kicks from Emmett Peoples. On both of those runs, he was able to avoid a blitzing Sanford linebacker before bursting through the hole.

“He’s a pretty special back so we’ve been working on some stuff in practice to get him the ball a little more,” Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson said. “He was only getting about 10 carries a game so we definitely wanted to get him more than that.”

The Red Storm also had a significant edge in special teams play.

In the first half punter Cody Dudley consistently pinned Sanford deep. Peoples’ four kickoffs were each high and deep and well covered. Scarborough’s final scoring drive was set up by a 31-yard punt return from Anthony Simoneau to the Sanford 38.

In contrast, Sanford’s punts were relatively short, its kickoffs were purposely squibbed, and kicker Matt Small came up short on his extra-point attempt after Sanford (2-2) had cut the lead to 14-6 on a 9-yard pass from Frankie Veino to Ethan Belanger with 1:17 left in the third quarter.

“I felt like we were fighting the field position battle all night long,” Sanford Coach Mike Fallon said. “They kept us pinned deep. We had some issues in our kicking game. Special teams-wise we weren’t as clean as we have been.”

Veino completed 17 of 26 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns, with almost all the damage done in the second half.

On the first Sanford scoring drive he completed six passes, finding sure-handed wide receivers Belanger (5 catches, 53 yards) and Ethan Emard (6-46) along the sidelines and then connecting with tight end Michael Lunny (5-51) on underneath crossing patterns.

After Garrard’s third score with 2:41 left in the game, Veino orchestrated an 82-yard drive capped by a seam pass to a wide-open Lunny from the 11 with 19.4 seconds to play.

A two-point conversion screen pass to Sam Anderson was unsuccessful and Scarborough handled the onside-kick attempt to cinch up the game.

Johnson noted the win kept Scarborough alive for a top-two spot in Class A, which would mean a first-round playoff bye. The Red Storm will face league heavyweight Thornton Academy next Friday.

For Sanford the focus is on reducing mistakes and finishing strong to gain a top-four finish and home field in the first round.

“I don’t think all is lost because we lost a close one to Scarborough but we need to play better than that,” Fallon said. “And one reason we didn’t play better is because of Scarborough. That’s a good team.”