SACO – The first seven times Thornton Academy took possession of the football, it ended with the same result: touchdown.
The unstoppable Trojans sailed past Scarborough 49-14 Saturday afternoon in a Western Class A semifinal at Dr. Paul S. Hill Jr. Stadium.
Thornton (9-1) advances to the regional title game next Saturday at Cheverus (10-0), the only team that has slowed down the Trojans. The Stags beat Thornton 28-14 on Oct. 13.
“I’m really excited for the rematch,” Thornton standout Andrew Libby said
Scarborough is done at 7-3, with two of those losses coming to Thornton.
“They were just too physical for us,” said Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson.
Red Storm quarterback Dillon Russo threw for 158 yards and rushed for 97, but Scarborough could not contain the Trojans, whose starters totaled 388 yards of offense.
Several Trojans stood out, including quarterback Eric Christensen. He passed for three touchdowns and sneaked in for two more. He completed all six of his passes for 140 yards.
“He really set the tone. He had a great game for us,” Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal said.
Libby was all over the field for Thornton. Taking handoffs from Christensen, as well as direct snaps from the shotgun, Libby carried the ball 14 times for 76 yards.
Libby ran for one touchdown and caught a pass for another. He also rushed for a pair of 2-point conversions. Then there was the 58-yard kickoff return to set up a touchdown, and the 39-yard interception return to set up another.
“He’s a special player,” Kezal said. “Strong, athletic he’s a football player.”
Senior running back Nick Kenney rushed 21 times for 100 yards, while fellow senior Alex Rizeakos ran for a touchdown.
Dylan Morton and Cody Lynn also caught touchdown passes.
That’s a lot of skill, but there is a lot of power up front.
“Our linemen run the whole thing,” Libby said. “They execute the blocks. They make everything happen.”
That Thornton line features tackles Ashton Lord and Connor McCrum, guards Michael Grander and David LaPauloue, center Bobby Begin and tight end Dakota Tarbox. Tackle Ian Paul was also often in the action.
“Our linemen have come a long way,” Kezal said. “We were able to pound the rock.”
Thornton’s starters carried the ball 46 times for 248 yards.
On the Trojans’ first play, Christensen found Morton alone downfield for a 40-yard touchdown pass.
Scarborough responded immediately. Russo connected with Merrick Madden for an 80-yard score, tying the game 7-7.
But it was all Thornton from there.
Libby returned the kickoff to the Scarborough 32. On fourth-and-goal from the 5, Christensen threaded a perfect pass to Libby in the end zone.
After Libby’s interception, he scored on a wildcat play, from 8 yards out.
Christensen hooked up with Lynn for a 48-yard score.
Morton set up the next TD with a 36-yard punt return. Christensen sneaked in from the 1 to make it 34-7, then did again before halftime for a 42-7 lead.
Thornton opened the second half with a 93-yard, 17-play, 81/2-minute drive, with Rizeakos scoring from the 13.
Scarborough completed the scoring on Dan LeClair’s 1-yard run.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: