BIDDEFORD — Thornton Academy’s power game ran though Biddeford 42-14 Saturday in the Battle of the Bridge at Waterhouse Field as both Nick Kenney and Andrew Libby rushed for more than 100 yards and three touchdowns each.

“Both programs have such a rich history. You’re playing for more than just yourself but you’re playing for your town and the people who have played before,” said Tigers Captain Nick Leblond. “We have a little history with Nick Kenney and it’s nice to have him back at Waterhouse Field, just wish it was in orange and black instead. I respect the kid and he plays with so much emotion. Andrew Libby does too. He is such a class act and so humble for as much God-given talent that he has.”

The game started off promising for the Tigers as they forced Thornton to punt after four plays on offense. Momentum changed, however, when Libby picked off quarterback Nick Leblond on third and 5. From there on it was all Trojans football.

Thornton’s offense had 317 yards rushing on 37 attempts. Kenney had 19 rushes for 127 yards and three touchdowns of 9, 17 and 7 yards. Andrew Libby had 111 yards on 11 attempts and three touchdowns of 30, 13 and 6 yards. TA quarterback Eric Christensen completed 2 of 7 passes for 36 yards. He also ran for 79 yards on seven carries.

“We knew we were going to run the ball a lot. The field conditions weren’t great. We ended up starting strong and finishing strong,” said Kenney.

Biddeford put together some long drives, but had trouble scoring against the Trojan defense. They once again featured an aerial assault as they have all season. Tigers quarterback Nick Leblond was 12 of 27 passing for 153 yards and a touchdown. Leading receiver Matt Cote has eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Cote’s touchdown tied him with three of the state’s best receivers for touchdowns this season. Cote, Dakota Tarbox of Thornton, Greg Viola of Scarborough and Ryan Michael Casale of Cheverus all have five touchdown receptions this season.

“None of it wouldn’t have happened without Nick (Leblond). He puts the ball right in my hands so it makes it easy,” Cote said. “He wouldn’t be able to make the throws if the offensive line wasn’t strong up front, so we have to give them credit too. While I’m the one who scores, it’s really a team effort.”

Thornton Academy’s defense disrupted to the Biddeford offense. Libby had two interception and Dylan Morton had one.

“Our defense played really well. Physically last week we didn’t do real well with that. This week we came out and played physical and our defense held strong against a very good team,” said Kenny.

After the score was 42-0, Thornton put in its reserves to finish out the game. When Biddeford put its reserves in, it looked promising for the future of Biddeford football. Backup quarterback Casey Twomey threw a touchdown pass to Jake Aube. They hooked up for a 55-yard reception, burning Thornton’s secondary deep. In the short time they were on the field, running back Dominic Day racked up 51 yards rushing. Biddeford came into the game needing a win and help from several other teams around the league to make the playoffs. They finished their season at 3-4, after going 0-8 last year.

“We have 17 seniors and never has there been a group that had to go through what they went through,” Biddeford coach Scott Descoteaux said. “We were 0 -8 last year and 7-1 the year before. This group has seen it all. They have seen the highs and I can’t even begin to tell you the emotions that come along with a season where you don’t win. They regrouped and stuck together. I never lost any of them, and they came back and said they want this to be different.”

Thornton Academy enters the playoffs with the No. 2 seed and will host No. 8 seed Kennebunk (5-3) on Saturday.

“It’s a game played with so many emotions and we have so much respect for those guys. They’re so good on defense, offense and special teams,” said Leblond. “They’re going to make a run in the playoffs.”

— Contact Nate Fowler at 282-1535, Ext. 323.



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