SACO — Thornton Academy improved its football record to 6-1 with a 28-14 win over Scarborough on Saturday, but the Trojans once again needed a big second half to earn the victory.

In several games this season, the Trojans have started slowly and then pulled away late.

So it was Saturday, when Thornton committed two turnovers and committed five penalties — two holding calls that wiped out big runs and two pass interference calls that kept Scarborough drives alive — and fell behind 14-7 at the half.

But Thornton regrouped in the second half, holding the Red Storm scoreless and dominating the tempo with a strong running game.

“We’re an enigma at times,” said Trojans Coach Kevin Kezal. “We fall into a funk at times and just … part of it is we’re inexperienced. But they found a way to play in the second half. That’s how we’ve got to play. If we could bottle that … we’re a pretty good team when we play like that.”

It was Homecoming for the Trojans, as well as the celebration of the school’s bicentennial and the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. A crowd of about 2,000 attended and a couple of Thornton players said they were a little overwhelmed by the situation early on.

“Maybe we were a little overhyped,” said senior strong safety John Remmes, who intercepted two passes. “We had a lack of focus early on. But in a way (the first-half performance) woke some guys up. We didn’t come out with the fire we needed. We really executed in the second half.”

For offensive guard/linebacker Luke Libby, it was an especially satisfying win.

“It’s my last Homecoming,” he said. “So it meant a lot to me.”

It was a pretty good day for Libby. He had eight tackles and a sack, then at night he was voted the Homecoming King.

Thornton Academy wore alternate uniforms: black jerseys with maroon and gold numbers and black pants. On the right leg of the pants were letters spelling “Trojans.”

On the left?

Ancient Greek letters spelling “Unity.”

SCARBOROUGH lost its fifth football game in a row to drop to 2-5. But with Gorham on the schedule next week, the Red Storm are still in the playoff hunt. A win could push them into the top eight.

But regardless of what happens, Coach Lance Johnson said his players have given him everything he’s asked this year.

“The kids played hard,” he said after the loss. “It hasn’t been the season we wanted, but they come to practice every day and work extremely hard. They’re extremely dedicated and they do a great job of trying to perform. We just haven’t performed on game days.”

Scott Thibeault, the Red Storm’s stellar running back, returned after missing three games with a back injury. He gained 95 yards and scored on a 37-yard run that was vintage Thibeault.

He also took a pounding from the Thornton defense.

AFTER GORHAM beat Massabesic 63-47 in one of the few football games played on a rainy Friday night, coaches Dave Kilborn (Gorham) and John Morin (Massabesic) chatted at length at midfield. They had plenty to talk about, from the mudslide conditions to the 16 touchdowns scored.

But mostly, they could speak of their programs’ turnarounds. Both teams trudged through 0-8 seasons last year. Now, both teams are 4-3, both at the doorstep of the postseason.

Kilborn could not say enough about the Mustangs’ effort. Gorham scored four straight touchdowns to take a 42-22 lead, only to watch Massabesic battle back.

“They didn’t give up. That’s a tribute to them,” Kilborn said.

Despite the offensive onslaught, there were some solid defensive plays in the Gorham-Massabesic game. Rams senior Kyle Nealey was in on several tackles, including a key sack on third down late in the first half. Gorham cornerback Brad Turnbaugh intercepted a pass in the end zone in the third quarter.

While those in charge of washing the Gorham football uniforms were in for a challenge, the Massabesic managers had to put in double-time. The Mustangs changed into dry uniforms at halftime, making the postgame laundry pile twice as big.

THORNTON ACADEMY’S field hockey season may have ended with a 3-2 playoff loss to Portland on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium, but the tears didn’t last long and heads remained high.

After all, the 10th-seeded Trojans had rallied from a two-goal deficit, held No. 7 Portland scoreless through two eight-minute overtimes of 7-on-7 action, and thwarted 13 penalty corners before Kylie Dalbec, a Portland senior who played for North Yarmouth Academy last fall, knocked in the winning goal.

Needing to score on its 15th and final penalty corner to extend the tiebreaker, Thornton couldn’t get off a shot as Portland’s Eleni Anderson broke up the play and cleared the ball over the 25.

“It was weird,” TA senior Morgan Ouellette-Foss said of the tiebreaking procedure. “I mean, we’ve done overtime before and overtime was stressful. Then the corners, it was different. It didn’t really feel like the game anymore. It kind of felt more like practice. … I’d rather do 7-on-7 or maybe even (penalty) strokes, because the intensity’s still there.”

Ouellette-Foss is one of only five senior starters for Thornton, whose lineup Saturday featured four sophomores and two juniors.

“It’s hard to watch a team fight like that and not win,” Portland Coach Beth Arsenault said of Thornton. “I’ve been there many times.”

AFTER GREELY capped its 14-0 regular season in volleyball with a 3-0 victory over Falmouth on Friday night, seniors Ellie Weickert of Greely and Nicole Rogers of Falmouth threw an arm around each other and grinned while Weickert’s mom snapped a photograph.

“We always take a picture together after the game,” Weickert said. “It’s fun, and it’s fun to rub each other’s face in it afterward.

“Sometimes she blocks me and sometimes I block her.”

Rogers is 5-foot-11 and Weickert 5-10, so they’re often face-to-face at the net, or fingertips-to-fingertips above it. They played together in the spring on a Junior Olympics team in Portland and started their post-game photo ops a year ago.

“We take them during basketball season, too,” Rogers said.

Friday’s portrait was the sixth of their series. They quickly added it to their Facebook pages.

“I also have one framed in my room,” Rogers said.

“Sorry,” Weickert said with an apologetic laugh. “I don’t have any photos in my room.”

– Staff Writers Mike Lowe, Glenn Jordan and Kevin Thomas contributed to this report.