Scarborough’s Jeremy Sendrowski, left, and Connor Kelly celebrate after beating Windham in the Class A football state championship at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald)
PORTLAND — Keeping up with a team as explosive as Scarborough is a tall task even on a 100-yard field. When the Red Storm only have to cover less than half the field for points, it’s impossible.
Scarborough dominated every aspect of Saturday’s Class A state championship against Windham, but it was the field position that its special teams provided for it that turned an already lopsided matchup into a 57-0 blowout at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
Senior running back Owen Garrard scored five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) and senior QB Zoltan Panyi ran for two and threw for another score to lead the Red Storm (10-1) to their first state title since winning Class B in 2002.
“We’ve all been working together since like third grade, so to go out on top feels great,” Garrard said. “That was our goal all year and I’m just glad that we got to accomplish it.”
Garrard’s rushing numbers weren’t gaudy (13 carries, 68 yards). But that’s because he and the rest of the offense didn’t have to put together many long drives, thanks to their special teams, particularly returners Jeremy Sandrowski and Jarrett Flaker, who tilted the field Scarborough’s way throughout the first half.
Scarborough’s opening drive started at Windham’s 26 thanks to a 59-yard kickoff return by Sendrowski. Its second started at the 10 courtesy Flaker’s 54-yard punt return. Garrard converted both into rushing touchdowns, from one yard and nine yards, respectively, to make it 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Despite enjoying a short field for much of the day, Scarborough still outgained Windham, 407-157. Panyi was the leading rusher with 135 yards on six carries, including third-quarter touchdown runs of 52 and 59 yards.
“We talked to the kids about getting off to a quick start. They did a great job executing the game plan early,” Scarborough coach Lance Johnson said. “We played well on special teams, offense and defense, so it all came together pretty well.”
“We made some mistakes early today that cost us,” Windham coach Matt Perkins said. “(Field position) is the big difference, especially with that much talent on offense that they have, to give them a short field is what I like to call a bad idea.”
Leave it to bad luck to pile on Windham (7-5) after the Red Storm started their third offensive series from midfield. Panyi’s first pass of the game was a deep one over the middle that deflected off the hands of an Eagles defender and right to Scarborough receiver Connor Kelly, who was tackled at the 10. Flaker, a speedy sophomore, ran it in from there for a 21-0 lead with 3:48 still remaining in the first quarter.
Things continued to snowball with a five-yard punt by the Eagles, which set up the Red Storm at Windham’s 41. Seven plays later, Garrard ran it in from the 2. Even the botched extra point went Scarborough’s way, as Sendrowski, the holder, scrambled in for the two-point conversion and a 29-0 lead.
Windham put together its best drive of the game on its subsequent possession, marching from its own 28 to the Scarborough 20. But QB Tanner Bernier (11 carries, 26 yards) fumbled after a long run to the 8, and Scarborough recovered.
Panyi’s three-yard touchdown pass to Garrard with 11.5 seconds left capped the first-half scoring at 36-0.
With running time on the clock for the second half, Panyi added his two long touchdown runs and Garrard added his fourth TD run, from three yards.
Windham’s best chance to spoil the shutout came after a 75-yard kick return by Bernier late in the third quarter. But that threat ended when Tyler Gobeil picked off his pass in the back of the end zone.
Sean Shackford had two sacks for the Red Storm.
Scarborough wide receiver Cody Dudley completes a pass near the 20 yard line while Windham linebacker applies pressure during the Class A football state championship at Fitzpatrick Stadium. The completion set Scarborough up for their fifth touchdown. (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald)