BIDDEFORD – Dennis Liu returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown for fifth-seeded Scarborough against fourth-ranked Biddeford.

And from there, it only got better for the Red Storm, who were playing in their first Western Class A football playoff game.

With running backs Scott Thibeault (two touchdowns) and Mark Pearson ripping off yardage and the defense shutting down a depleted Biddeford offense, Scarborough rolled to a 48-14 quarterfinal victory Saturday at Waterhouse Field.

Scarborough (8-1), in a remarkable turnaround season under its first-year coach, Lance Johnson, advanced to next Saturday’s semifinal at top-ranked Cheverus (9-0).

The Stags outlasted Windham 34-27 in their quarterfinal Saturday.

The Red Storm didn’t play Cheverus in the regular season.

“We have to play them sooner or later,” said Johnson. “We might as well play them now.”

After Scarborough scored on the opening kickoff, Biddeford (7-2) drove from its 30 to the Red Storm 14.

On third down, the Tigers had D.J. Shannon open in the end zone, but he dropped Nick Leblond’s pass.

Not that a matching score would have made a difference for the Tigers, who were playing without their starting quarterback and a key lineman. The Red Storm were that much better.

“We’ve improved a lot since we played them in the regular season,” said Johnson.

Scarborough won that game, 21-9.

“We’re better in the line, on defense and all over,” he said.

After the Tigers missed a chance to tie it, Scarborough took a 14-0 lead on Thibeault’s 53-yard touchdown run.

Thibeault broke a tackle at the line and then outraced the Biddeford secondary to the end zone.

Early in the second quarter, Scarborough took advantage of a 10-yard Biddeford punt. On first down from the Tigers’ 20, quarterback Jack Adams passed to tight end Mike Cyr, who hauled it in and lunged into the end zone.

Adams finished with three touchdown passes.

“It’s been a lot of fun to be part of this and play with these guys,” said Adams.

The Tigers scored with 3:04 remaining in the first half to signal they might still be the game. Nick Gagne bulled in from 2 yards.

Gagne set up the score with an interception of an Adams pass at the Scarborough 40 and return to the 21.

The Tigers got the ball back in good field position, but in the play that left little doubt that this game was over, sophomore Dillon Russo intercepted a Leblond pass at the 35 and returned it to the 16.

Russo, the backup quarterback, scored three plays later from the 2 and Nate Provencher’s point after made it 28-6 with 30 seconds left in the half.

“Scarborough beat us on offense, on defense and on special teams,” said Biddeford Coach Scott Descoteaux.

“The players we didn’t have wouldn’t have made a difference. It’s not about us. It’s about Scarborough.”

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]