Austin McCrum threw four touchdown passes to Corey Hart and unbeaten Thornton Academy turned back a challenge from Deering for a 48-20 victory Friday night in a Class A South football game at Memorial Field.

Hart caught five passes for 201 yards.

“In Week 1, Ben Lambert had a 200-yard game and tonight was Corey’s night,” Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal said. “We try to spread it around. We try to work on matchups and tonight Corey played a great game. Austin threw the ball well and we protected him well.”

Deering (2-1) stayed for nearly three quarters with the defending state champion, which shut out its first two opponents.

“It’s Class A high school football and (Deering) was ready to go, and they played hard,” Kezal said. “Credit to their (coaching) staff getting them ready. I’m proud of our kids to kind of regroup at halftime and play well in the second half.”

Thornton (3-0) held a 21-13 halftime lead.

The Trojans opened the scoring in the final minute of the first quarter. McCrum threw a 55-yard pass to Hart, who got in front of two defenders deep down the right sideline.

The Rams scored less than four minutes into the second quarter. Quarterback Max Chabot swept right for 7 yards for a touchdown six plays after Lambert lost a fumble at his 24 while returning a punt. On fourth down, Chabot threw a 17-yard pass to Raffaele Salamone to keep the drive alive.

Less than a minute later, the Trojans took a 14-6 lead when Greg Ruff went 14 yards up the middle. McCrum began the two-play scoring drive by hooking up with Hart for a 35-yard gain.

Just over a minute later, Rob Dacey scored on a 6-yard run two plays after Sambath Sao returned the kickoff 73 yards to the Thornton 8.

With five minutes left in the half, Hart turned a short pass on the right sideline into a 55-yard scoring play.

Thornton extended its lead in the second half by turning three Deering turnovers into TDs.

“We did a nice job of getting the ball back and trading short field for ourselves,” Kezal said. “We were able to hit some passes and take control of the game.”

With two minutes left in the third quarter, the Trojans made it 28-13 when McCrum threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Hart to cap a six-play, 37-yard drive following Lambert’s interception.

Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, the Trojans made it 35-13 when Ruff went up the middle for 1 yard to cap a seven-play, 26-yard drive that started with a Deering fumble on a kickoff return.

Less than a minute later, McCrum threw a 50-yard scoring pass to Hart following another Deering fumble.

With three minutes left in the game, Caysey Anthony of Deering completed the scoring with a 3-yard run to cap an eight-play, 52-yard drive after Machar Nguany’s fumble recovery.

McCrum completed 6 of 8 passes for 212 yards. The Trojans also rushed for 212 yards on 33 carries.

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