SACO — Thornton Academy wants to play as many playoff games at home as possible, and with that in mind, the Trojans played one of their strongest all-around games this season in a 14-7 boys’ lacrosse romp over Gorham on Tuesday.

In the last four years Thornton Academy has won when playing at home in the Class A South boys’ lacrosse playoffs. A loss Tuesday could have meant one fewer playoff game at Hill Stadium.

Instead the Trojans (10-1) remained second in the Heal point standings, with its only loss in overtime to top-ranked Scarborough. Thornton Academy’s final regular-season game is Thursday at Westbrook.

Gorham finished the regular season at 9-3 and appears to be locked in to the No. 4 seed.

Thornton’s top scorer Noah Edborg had five goals and one assist. Sophomores C.J. Labreck and Thomas Levasseur both added three goals.

“This win was very important. Like Coach said, the real season started tonight,” said Edborg. “If we lost we would have dropped all the way to (the fourth seed) and would have to play on a grass field (sooner). We don’t like doing that; we’d rather play on our turf.”

In a physical game that had a playoff feel, the Trojans battled back from an early 3-0 deficit to take a 5-4 lead at the half. They scored the first two of the third quarter and never led by fewer than two goals the rest of the way. In the fourth quarter the Trojans scored the first five goals to stretch the lead to 13-6.

“We try to play a quarter at a time and score the first goal of the quarter,” said Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey. “Besides the first quarter when we were down 3-1, we won every other quarter and scored the first goal in each quarter.

“Before they go out there they get in the right mindset to get that first one. What follows is habit of hard work.”

But the key to the win was not the offense, but defense, specifically two penalty kills.

First, the Trojans incurred a 3-minute illegal stick penalty to start the second quarter. Not only did the Rams fail to score and pad their 3-1 lead, but Thornton scored when Edborg picked up a loose ball, evaded one defender and bounced a shot past Gorham goalie Carter Landry (14 saves).

A one-minute penalty with 6:12 left in the game and a 10-6 lead could have changed the complexion but, again, the Rams came up empty.

Labreck was key when the Trojans were down a man as he used his speed to get the ball from defensive zone past midfield. Once in his offensive zone his elusiveness helped him drain precious time off the clock.

“(C.J.) went through five of their guys just to get it over midfield (on one penalty). And then he held on to it for another 45 seconds,” Hersey said. “He had a couple goals tonight but I think that was his best plays of the game.”

Gorham got five goals and two assists from Alex York. Chris Tucker had two goals and one assist and Jake Dupuis had three assists.

Rams Coach Dan Soule felt his team – one of the top offenses in the state – wasn’t able to execute as it normally does.

“When it came down to it, our offense didn’t give our defense much rest and it put a lot strain on us in third and fourth quarters,” said Soule. “If we ran our offense it could have given us more opportunities. But we didn’t and the result is what it is.”

Thornton put the game away with three goals in a 50-second span late in the final quarter, for a seven-goal cushion. Levasseur scored the final two, the last off a cross-crease pass from John Giroux.

Ean Patry made 11 saves for the Trojans.