SANFORD — The new Alumni Stadium was jam-packed with Sanford fans hoping to see an upset of visiting Scarborough – the defending Class A state champion.

But an opening-drive touchdown by the Red Storm and a fumble on the Spartans’ first play from scrimmage put the home team in a hole it couldn’t overcome. Scarborough prevailed, 41-13, in the season opener for both squads Friday night.

It was the fourth straight year Sanford opened the season against the state champion from the year before.

After Jarett Flaker scored the first of his four first-half TDs, defensive back Zachary Alofs came off the edge and met Sanford running back Caleb Saucier as the pitch from Xavier Levine was coming his way. The ball landed on the new turf and Jake Piispanen recovered it to give Scarborough the ball at the Spartans 38.

Six plays later, Flaker (seven carries, 116 yards) was in the end zone for the second time in the opening 2:55 for a 14-0 advantage. He went 15 yards, just getting inside the right pylon.

“We took the ball first so we could score first,” Red Storm Coach Lance Johnson said. “Then Coach (Packy) Malia called a great stunt off the edge and (it caused) a fumble. We scored again for a great start.”

The only negative for Scarborough in the first half was penalties – 8 for 70 yards. A false start on the ensuing kickoff and a 30-yard return by Ethan Shain gave the home team the ball at the Red Storm 45.

The Spartans started to get their feet under them with a 10-play drive that featured a 20-yard pass from Levine (6 for 10, 112 yards) to Jordan Giroux on third and 11. Levine also connected for back-to-back gains of 11 and 14 yards to move the ball to the 8.

Three plays later, Leyton Bickford – in for a shaken-up Levine – found Saucier for a 7-yard touchdown. Levine’s PAT cut the deficit to 14-7 with 3:58 left in the first quarter.

Scarborough answered Sanford’s score with a 13-play, 62-yard drive that took 4:35 off the clock. Flaker ended it again, from 4 yards, to push the visitors’ lead to 20-7.

Flaker’s fourth TD of the first half came with 33 seconds remaining.

“It was a great start for us,” said Flaker. “The offensive line did an incredible job.

“We were real excited for this game to show everyone that we are back.”

Sanford Coach Mike Fallon attributed the loss to facing a tough opponent in Week 1.

“They are a real good football team,” he said. “We had something like 14 guys trying to take down Flaker but we couldn’t.”

The Red Storm defense contributed to the 28-7 first-half lead. Two sacks and a well-defended fourth-down pass ended the final three Sanford drives in Scarborough territory.

“Sanford was driving to open the second half and we stopped them. Then we scored an important touchdown,” Johnson said.

“The defense at times bent and gave up plays, but we found a way to shut them down.”

Tyler Gobeil and Sal DeBenedetto also scored for the Red Storm.

Ethan Guillemette crashed in from 4 yards in the final seconds for Sanford’s other touchdown.