Sunday, December 8, 2013
STANDISH - When Bonny Eagle began the game by hogging the ball for nine minutes before taking a 7-0 lead, Thornton Academy had to patiently wait for its chance.
"It was a little bit of a rocky start," Andrew Libby of Thornton said.
But the unbeaten Golden Trojans, with the help of three touchdowns by Libby, got past the start and finished strong for a 37-20 victory in a Western Class A football game Friday night.
The Scots (1-2) took the lead three times, including midway through the third quarter, but the Trojans (3-0) kept coming back.
"Give our guys credit," Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal said. "Every time they did something, we responded. And our special teams were great tonight."
Bonny Eagle outgained the Trojans 313 yards to 296, but Thornton got a 64-yard touchdown punt return from Libby and an 80-yard kickoff return from Josh Coffin to set up another score.
"We have to get better on special teams," Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper said.
But Cooper was glad to see his team play hard, especially after giving up 35 first-half points to Scarborough last week.
Led by quarterback Tyson Goodale (176 yards passing and 59 yards rushing), the Scots took the first drive 80 yards, converting three fourth-down plays. Goodale scored on fourth-and-1 for a 7-0 lead with 3:03 left in the first quarter.
"An unbelievable drive," Cooper said. "I thought we set the tempo but (Thornton) took it back."
In the second quarter, Libby received a punt at his 36 and took off down the right sideline and into the end zone.
It was his third punt return for a touchdown in three games.
Bonny Eagle got the lead back on Joe Bissonnette's 75-yard touchdown run.
Thornton came back as the offense was getting warmed up, led by quarterback Eric Christensen (8 of 9 passes for 113 yards, and 65 yards rushing) and running back Nick Kenny (88 yards on 15 carries).
Thornton scored on a 76-yard drive to tie it again.
The Trojans then got a safety at the end of the first half for a 16-14 lead.
Bonny Eagle had trouble with its shotgun hikes. One flew over Goodale's head. He scooped up the ball but slipped in the end zone, giving Thornton its first lead.
The Scots scored on their first drive in the second half for a 20-16 lead. But Coffin's kickoff return gave Thornton possession on the Scots' 20.
Libby capped the short drive for a 23-20 lead.
Bonny Eagle drove down again but fumbled in the end zone. The Trojans fumbled on their next drive but began dominating play on the line.
The Scots were stifled and the Trojans were getting good field position.
Their last two scoring drives were 44 and 32 yards.
Brandon Briggs kicked all five extra points for the Trojans.
Thornton will be home to Massabesic next Saturday, and the Scots will be home against Portland on Friday night.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: