Thornton Academy has a 15-1 all-time record against Scarborough.

But Scarborough’s one win, 36-29 in Saco in a Class A South semifinal last fall, has changed the dynamic.

When the teams meet Friday at Kippy Mitchell Complex in Scarborough, the Red Storm will be the team with a veteran quarterback, an experienced running back and loads of proven starters.

And that’s fine with Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal.

“The last few years we’ve been on the other end of things, and I’m just excited to see where we’re at as a team,” Kezal said. “We have a lot of inexperienced guys going on the road and playing a real high-quality opponent for the first time. For us, it’s just seeing how they respond.”

Both teams have posted a pair of dominating wins. Thornton outscored Massabesic and Deering by a combined 101-18 margin. Scarborough had a 92-15 edge in wins against Deering and Sanford, even though senior quarterback Zoltan Panyi sat out the Sanford game because of an injury.

Panyi will start against Thornton and “probably could have” played last week, Coach Lance Johnson said.

Johnson said his squad is also anxious to test its competitive mettle.

“Well, if you just look at last year’s roster, we probably have more guys back, but (the Trojans) have great numbers in their program and they have players who can replace players,” Johnson said. “When we play the better teams, we have to compete at a higher level, so we have to compete like we did last year.”

Thornton sophomore quarterback Will Mitchell has already thrown five touchdown passes – two to Anthony Bracamonte against Massabesic and three to C.J. LaBreck against Deering.

Scarborough counters with 6-foot, 225-pound back Owen Garrard (1,056 yards, 18 TDs as a junior) and a host of receivers. Cody Dudley and tight end Eric Quirk each had two TD catches in last year’s semifinal win. Jaquan Seme, who did not play football the past two seasons, had two TD catches last week.

Kick coverage will be critical, because both teams have dangerous returners.

In Thornton’s 34-19 regular-season win in 2016, Bracamonte returned the second-half kickoff 93 yards for a score. LaBreck has a kickoff return for a touchdown this season.

Scarborough sophomore Jarett Flaker won the Class A 55-meter dash indoors as a freshman and was second in the New Balance Nationals freshmen 60-meter dash. He returned a kickoff for a score against Sanford.

Massabesic and Deering both scored on kickoff returns against Thornton.

A week after beating Messalonskee’s run-heavy offense in monsoon conditions, the Kennebunk defense will have to shift gears against Falmouth’s spread offense. Both teams are 2-0 in Class B South.

“The thing that impresses me the most is they have a lot of athletes, a very athletic group. And (Falmouth QB Jack) Bryant, he spreads the ball around,” said Kennebunk Coach Joe Rafferty.

Kennebunk has its own emerging playmaker in junior Zack Sullivan. Rafferty said in the preseason he expected more big plays from Sullivan, who starts both ways and plays on all special teams.

“He doesn’t come off the field,” Rafferty said. “And in the last two games, he’s made three catches that have to be up there in maybe the top five I’ve ever seen at the high school level.”

This is Rafferty’s 39th season as Kennebunk’s head coach.

The other key Class B contest this week pits Biddeford (2-0) at Marshwood (2-0).

The game will start at 6 p.m., as will the Hawks’ home games against Falmouth (Oct. 6) and Noble (Oct. 20).

Marshwood Athletic Director Rich Buzzell said the earlier start time is designed to get players and fans home earlier. He expects more schools to follow suit next season.

Falmouth has adjusted its football start times to 6:30 p.m., the same as soccer, field hockey and volleyball.

South Portland is battling a fowl opponent.

Migrating geese have invaded the practice and game fields for a third straight year.

Athletic Director Todd Livingston said the current situation is nowhere near as bad as in 2015, when the geese came later in the year and by season’s end had left droppings “everywhere,” including the grandstands and walkways.

“It was getting where it had become a huge issue. If we had won our first-round playoff game, we probably would not have been able to use our fields the next week,” Livingston said.

When Livingston saw the first flock of 50 to 100 geese this year, he used Facebook to solicit removal suggestions.

“I think it’s a sanitary issue. It’s fecal matter, and I know birds tend to carry a lot of diseases,” Livingston said. Livingston has coordinated with local residents to bring dogs to the field, both morning and night, to chase the birds away.

“We’re trying the dogs, and that should work. And the dogs are getting some good exercise out of it,” Livingston said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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