SACO – In honor of Thornton Academy’s bicentennial Homecoming, Kevin Kezal, the coach of the Trojans’ football team, brought in a special guest to deliver the pregame speech to his players: Craig Thibeau, a captain on the 1986 Thornton Academy undefeated state championship team that was being inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.

“He did a great job,” said Kezal. “He ended it by saying all he wanted was to hear the victory bell after the game.”

The Trojans didn’t disappoint. Behind a power running game and a ball-hawking defense, Thornton rallied in the second half to beat Scarborough 28-14 before a crowd of about 2,000 at Hill Stadium.

Thornton (6-1) trailed 14-7 at the half — the Red Storm getting a 37-yard touchdown run from Scott Thibeault (his first action in four games) and a 10-yard pass from Ben Greenberg to Charlie Raybine — but took control just three plays into the second half on a John Remmes interception.

“We shot ourselves in the foot in the first half, penalties, turnovers, getting beat (defensively) over the top,” said Kezal. “What we told them at the half was just clean it up.”

They did. Thornton held Scarborough, which dropped to 2-5 with its fifth consecutive loss, to just three first downs in the second half and forced three turnovers, scoring off two of them.

The biggest one may have been the interception by Remmes, a senior strong safety.

On third-and-7 from the Scarborough 16, Remmes made his second interception, returning the ball 14 yards to the Scarborough 19.

“I knew it was a passing situation,” said Remmes, whose first interception stopped Scarborough at the Trojan 8. “I saw the tight end crossing and I was able to get a good jump on the ball and make a play on it.”

It took the Trojans six plays — including a gutsy 4-yard run by Dylan Morton on fourth-and-2 — to score, with Andrew Libby powering his way in from the 8.

Brandon Briggs’ PAT kick made it 14-14.

After forcing a Scarborough three-and-out, the Trojans then drove 77 yards in nine plays to score again, on a perfectly thrown 26-yard pass from Eric Christensen to Dakota Tarbox — the second time the two hooked up for a touchdown.

The drive featured a steady dose of power running, with Nick Kenney and Libby.

Behind the line of center Keith Parenteau, guards Chris Madden and Luke Libby and tackles Tyler Danley and David LaPauloue, the Trojans controlled the clock and the tempo with a pounding running game.

The Trojans threw only two passes in the second half.

They gained 280 rushing yards in the game, with Kenney picking up 165 on 32 carries and Andrew Libby 91 yards on 16.

“That was probably the cleanest game our offensive line has played all year,” said Kezal. “They got on their blocks and stayed on them.”

Lance Johnson, coach of the Red Storm, wasn’t surprised at Thornton’s ground success. “They’ve done that to a lot of people,” he said.

“They’re deep and steady on offense.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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