SCARBOROUGH — Deering High took a quick 14-0 lead for the second straight game Thursday night, but unlike last week didn’t fritter it away — although it tried.

The Rams held off a determined Scarborough team in need of a win for a 14-7 Western Class A football victory.

Deering (5-1) assured itself of a playoff berth and rebounded from last week’s 28-21 loss to Thornton Academy, when another two-touchdown lead didn’t hold up.

“We have to stop taking 14-0 leads,” joked Deering Coach Jon Gallant. “I thought our defense played great. The best it has played all season. We’re in the playoffs. Having a winning record was our goal. Now it’s just a question of where we go in for the playoffs. We have two tough games left in the regular season.”

Scarborough, missing its star running back Scott Thibeault because of injury for the third straight game, became a different team after trailing 14-0.

The Red Storm (2-4) got a strong performance from Dillon Russo, who split time at quarterback and tailback, two-way end Dave Conceison, cornerback Ben Alper, tight end/linebacker Conor McCann and the offensive line.

The Red Storm moved the ball between the 20-yard lines but couldn’t find the end zone a second time to tie it.

Twice in the second half, Scarborough appeared ready to score, but each time Deering’s defense rose to the occasion.

With momentum on their side, the Red Storm reached the Deering 5 late in the game. On second down, Russo went off tackle but was dropped for a 5-yard loss by a number of Rams. On the next play, linebacker Nick DiBiase broke through and dropped quarterback Ben Greenberg for a 7-yard loss. On fourth-and-14, Renaldo Lowry intercepted a pass in the end zone.

“We couldn’t make a play when we needed to,” said Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson.

The Rams got the ball at the 20 and a third-down pass from Matt Flaherty to Lowry went for 21 yards to get the Rams across midfield.

On the next play, Trey Thomes followed with a 24-yard run.

Scarborough got the ball back on its 9 with 9.4 seconds left. After a penalty against the Red Storm, a desperation pass was intercepted by Thomes.

The Rams scored on their first two possessions. They needed only seven plays to score; Thomes went 11 yards for a TD.

Scarborough made one first down before a 7-yard punt gave the Rams the ball on the Scarborough 46. Nine plays later on a fourth down, Flaherty passed in the flat to Lowry, who took it in from 20 yards.

A blowout appeared likely but Scarborough felt otherwise.

The Red Storm scored on a 10-yard pass from Greenberg to Conceison early in the second quarter.

Greenberg’s insertion at quarterback enabled Russo to move to tailback and give Scarborough more of a threat at that position.

Deering twice had the ball first-and-goal at the 8 and couldn’t score.

Also, the Rams had a punt hit one of their players and was recovered by Scarborough.

And another time, a center snap get past Flaherty when he wasn’t ready for it.

The Rams dug in on the second mistake and threw the Red Storm for two straight losses and forced a punt.

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

Twitter: TomChardPPH