So why will Thornton Academy win the Class A football state championship Saturday over Windham?

Because there’s a storm brewing at Fitzpatrick Stadium, fueled by the Trojans’ Thunder and Lightning offense.

The Trojans can beat you with their power running game (averaging 7.5 yards every time they rush the ball) or their quick-strike passing game (averaging 20.0 yards every completion).

They average 47.4 points per game, with a season low of 28. Yes, Windham’s defense allowed less than 10 points per game, but the Eagles haven’t seen an offense this balanced or punishing all season.

Demel Ruff led the Trojans with 1,043 rushing yards, most of them tough yards between the tackles. But he is sneaky fast, with a 91-yard run this year. You don’t run that far without outracing somebody.

When the Trojans get in close to the goal line, they bring in a punishing full-house backfield to run behind an offensive line that averages 257 pounds. Michael Laverriere has scored 15 touchdowns this year behind that line. When Austin McCrum throws the ball, his favorite target are Ben Lambert with 26 catches, and Kevin Barrett and Corey Hart each with 23 receptions. Barrett has scored seven touchdowns and Hart, averaging 27.7 yards a catch, has four TDs.

The defense is relentless, with its secondary of cornerbacks Ben Lambert and C.J. Michaud especially challenging every pass thrown their way.

The Trojans also play like sharks. They get an early lead and then swarm you, not content to just hold the lead, but intent on increasing it.

Twice this year Windham defeated Cheverus – the only team to beat Thornton. But the Trojans will use that as motivation.

It will be close for a while.

The final: Thornton Academy 28, Windham 17.