Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By Tom Chard email@example.com
SACO - Linebacker Bobby Begin of Thornton Academy scooped up a fumble in the first quarter and showed speed "I didn't know I had," he said.
Andrew Libby, who rushed for 185 yards and scored three touchdowns Saturday, dives past Brendon Smith of Scarborough to score during Thornton Academy’s 35-7 win.
Photos by John Patriquin/Staff Photographer
Nick Kenney of Thornton Academy, right, and quarterback Eric Christensen celebrate Saturday after Kenney scored a touchdown that helped the Trojans remain unbeaten by defeating Scarborough, 35-7.
Scarborough had driven from its 20 and was bidding to take the early lead before Begin's momentum changer.
Begin ran 75 yards for the touchdown. Scarborough nev-er recovered.
In a game between unbeaten Western Class A football teams Saturday, Thornton earned a 35-7 victory at Hill Stadium.
Even without Begin's play, the Golden Trojans (5-0) likely would have cruised. They have so many threats on offense.
"We can wear teams down with it, said Begin.
Andrew Libby scored three touchdowns and rushed for 185 yards on 18 carries against the Red Storm (4-1). Nick Kenney added 98 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Quarterback Eric Christensen had his moments running the option and Dylan Morton added a 47-yard run just before the half that set up Kenney's touchdown.
But the big play was Begin's. It came with the Red Storm facing a fourth-and-goal from the Thornton 10. The Trojans were in a blitz but the snap deflected off quarterback Dillon Russo's hands. Russo went to the turf with the ball bouncing away. Begin gathered it in.
"All I saw was open field," he said. "I didn't want to stop running."
Brandon Briggs' kick made it 7-0.
Begin said the win was extra special because it was Homecoming.
"The 1962 team was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame and we wanted to play for them. Plus five wins gets you to the playoffs," he said.
That 1962 team won the state championship, which this team hopes to achieve in November.
There were plenty of emotional ties for Thornton to grab.
"I felt we finally played with emotion," said Coach Kevin Kezal. "I didn't think we had in the last two weeks."
The Trojans gave up big plays in their first four games, but not this time.
"We finally prevented the big play while making some of our own," said Kezal. "We kept Dillon in the pocket and made them one-dimensional."
Russo completed 17 of 29 passes for 258 yards. The bulk of it came between the 20s.
Russo has given teams fits running the quarterback draw or scrambling, but was held to 56 yards rushing on 10 carries.
The Red Storm's touchdown came on a Russo to Chris Cyr pass covering 7 yards early in the fourth quarter.
Besides the early touchdown, the Trojans also stopped Scarborough two more times inside the red zone in the first half.
Defensive end Dakota Tarbox dropped running back Kenny Adams for a 7-yard loss on first down from the 12 and Thornton blocked a 33-yard field-goal attempt by Greg Viola just before halftime.
Libby scored on a 19-yard run early in the second quarter. Kenney scored on a 5-yard run with a minute left in the half. Libby scored on a short plunge to open the final quarter and ended the scoring with a 69-yard run with 54 seconds left.
"I feel all of our backs bring something different to the table," said Kezal.
Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson acknowledged Thornton's play in the opening quarter.
"We drove down the field and to have that happen, it was a momentum changer," he said. "Give Thornton credit. They made the big plays they had to make."
With time winding down, Begin stepped in front of a Russo pass and intercepted.
"I was just in the right place at the right time," he said.
He has a habit of doing that.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:
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Thornton Academy quarterback Eric Christensen zips a pass as lineman Mike Pino of Scarborough attempts to bat it away.