SACO – Thornton Academy faced an uphill battle Saturday after falling into an early 9-0 hole against Sanford.

Somehow the Golden Trojans found the formula even with a patchwork offensive line to win their third straight with a 25-9 victory in a Western Class A football game at Hill Stadium.

With Sanford threatening to go up 16-0, defensive back C.J. Michaud intercepted a pass in the back of the end zone.

Thornton then started a drive that carried over to the second quarter and resulted in a 2-yard scoring run by Jesse Meikle.

The Golden Trojans (3-1) also scored the next time they touched the ball and ran off 18 points before the half.

Carter Davis made a falling catch in the end zone of an Austin McCrum pass that covered 21 yards. McCrum passed to Cody Lynn for the 2-point conversion, and what could have been a 16-0 deficit was instead a 15-9 lead.

“It was a battle since the beginning,” said Lynn. “We gutted it through. When we trailed 9-0 we just had to work a little harder to battle back. I think we established things up front. We made plays when we had to on offense and defense.”

Lynn had a hand as Sanford (2-2) took its lead. The snapper on punts, Lynn zipped one over Meikle, who was in punt formation, that resulted in an early safety.

Thornton then had to free kick, and on fourth-and-1 the talented Josh Schroder ran 45 yards for a touchdown.

Two more bad snaps, one on second down and the other on another punt, gave Sanford the ball at the Thornton 9.

On second down, Michaud bailed Lynn out with his interception.

“I usually don’t do that,” said Lynn of his high snaps. “The ball didn’t feel right at first but that’s no excuse. My last two snaps were fine.”

Lynn did his part in bringing Thornton back with his receiving and running after the catch. The tight end screen to Lynn in the flat was effective all game. So were McCrum’s passes to Davis.

“Both Cody and Carter are dynamic players,” said Coach Kevin Kezal. “We were able to get the ball to our skill people in space. The interception by C.J. gave us the momentum back and we were able to score on the next series.

“Our kids deserve the credit. They battled and found a way to get it done against a quality opponent. I thought Austin McCrum played well at quarterback.”

Late in the second quarter, Thornton drove to the 11 but the drive stalled. Chris Camire kicked a 20-yard field goal.

“We had too many mistakes,” said Sanford Coach Mike Fallon. “Thornton is a good physical team. We would chip away, chip away, but things didn’t go our way after we went up 9-0.”

The Golden Trojans were depleted in the line with Ian Paul (guard) and Tyler Fleurant (center) sidelined. Ashton Lord went out in the first half. Ben Zuke, a starter in the defensive line last year, hasn’t played because of a broken leg but is expected to return soon.

“Our line coach, Nick Tabor, did a good job this week putting things together,” said Kezal. “The guys who did play stepped it up.”

Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH