SCARBOROUGH – This was Scott Thibeault’s third position in two seasons but like the other two, he felt right at home.

Playing tailback for the first time in a regular-season game, Thibeault scored two touchdowns and rushed for 274 yards on 28 carries to lead Scarborough to a solid 21-6 victory against Windham in a Western Class A football opener Friday night.

“The line did an incredible job,” said Thibeault. “I just followed them through the hole.”

That he did, dragging tacklers.

“Scotty doesn’t go down on the first hit or the second,” said Coach Lance Johnson. “He gets the extra yardage.”

The first time Thibeault touched the ball, he broke outside for a 36-yard gain — the first of numerous outstanding runs while showing a well-honed skill for making cuts at just the right time.

“That’s something I work on in practice,” said Thibeault.

Johnson said the opening drive set the tone. After Thibeault’s opening run, the Red Storm scored four plays later. Thibeault added another big run, this one a 24-yarder to the 6.

Dillon Russo passed to Merrick Madden to the 1 and Russo scored on the next play.

“Windham deferred on the opening kickoff and we got the ball. It was an impressive start for us,” said Johnson.

Windham got a drive going late in the first quarter but fumbled deep in Red Storm territory. A turnover also hurt the Eagles late in the half when Madden intercepted. Thibeault scored from the 39 on the next play with 55 seconds left. Greg Viola booted the PAT to make it 14-0.

Another interception, this one by Kellen Smith, gave the Red Storm the ball on the Windham 38. A 15-yard run by Russo, followed two plays later by a Russo to Conor McCann pass play for 17, brought the ball to the 5 with time running out in the half.

A 20-yard field-goal attempt by Viola with 14 seconds left went wide.

The Eagles cut it to 14-6 on a 5-yard run by Todd Allen with 7:04 left in the third quarter, but the Red Storm kept up the offensive and defensive pressure.

Scarborough was more polished on offense and its line got off the ball quicker.

“We had good balance between the run and the pass,” said Johnson. “We have things we have to work on but overall it was a good opening-game team performance.”

Thibeault put the game away with a 19-yard run with 7:14 remaining, then the defense stopped the Eagles on fourth and less than a yard for a 2-yard loss.

The Red Storm ran out the remaining time while Thibeault added to his hefty yardage total.

Thibeault was a wide receiver at the start of last season, then moved to fullback midway through because of a rash of injuries at running back.

Johnson knew Thibeault would fit in at the position because of his toughness. The results were immediate. In the last five games of the season, Thibeault was a scoring and rushing standout in the team’s 8-2 season.

Johnson wanted Thibeault at tailback this season. The opening game showed his reasoning.

“At fullback you hit someone on every play,” said Thibeault. “Playing tailback, you have to look at the whole field and pick your openings.”

Last season’s run to the Western Class A semifinals gave the Red Storm players a lot of confidence

“There was a lot of hype for this game,” said Russo. “We had to come out and prove that we’re still a strong team. This is a confidence booster.”

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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Twitter: TomChardPPH