WINDHAM — One week after scoring only three points against Portland, Windhamput up 24 points in the first half alone against Thornton Academy.

Thornton Academy rallied late, but Windham’s dominance for three quarters was enough as the Eagles knocked off the previously unbeaten Golden Trojans, 24-14, in a Class A football game Friday.

“We’re back, we’re back” the Windham players shouted after the postgame handshakes.

Windham’s defense shut down Thornton Academy’s ground game in the first half while the Eagles’ running game battered the defending Class A champions. Kyle Houser, Griffin Jacobson and quarterback Desmond Leslie pounded out good yardage in the first half.

“Everyone counted us out,” said Coach Matt Perkins to his team. “They said we were down.”

The Eagles showed otherwise.

“We needed to get back on track after last week,” said Jacobson. “We’re a good team.”

The game was a rematch of last year’s Class A state final, won by Thornton Academy, 35-14. Windham led at halftime in that one, but not with the big lead it had this time. The Eagles weren’t about to let this one slip by.

Windham (3-1) wasn’t given much of a chance in this one because of the season-ending injuries to skill players Dylan Koza (knee) in the first game and Eric Webb (Achilles tendon) last week against Portland.

“To come back after last week’s loss and beat a team everyone is saying is the best in the state is a testament to our team’s heart,” said Perkins. “I thought we shut down their running game for most of the game. We had a couple of defensive looks to change things up.”

Thornton Academy Coach Kevin Kezal knew Windham was still very formidable.

“I know they lost a couple of top players, but that’s a good football team,” he said. “They played harder than we did in the first half and we couldn’t run the ball. You can’t give up 24 points against a team like Windham and expect to win.”

Windham lost to Portland, 10-3, last week. The Eagles had their chances offensively in that one, but misfired several times. Defensively, they were airtight, just like Friday night.

Houser gave the Eagles a 6-0 lead with 4:33 left in the first quarter when he scored on a 53-yard run. Houser appeared stopped soon after the line of scrimmage, but kept churning.

A Thornton fumble, recovered by lineman Gerry Valliere, set the Eagles up for their second score. Three plays later, Leslie bulled his way from 14 yards out to make it 14-0 after Robert Innis’ PAT.

Innis’ 17-yard field goal made it 17-0 with 8:39 left in the half.

Mitchell Eskilson intercepted an Austin McCrum pass to set up another Windham score before halftime. Jacobson took over the running chores, eventually scoring from the 1.

Thornton Academy (3-1) finally got untracked late in the third quarter. McCrum started finding receivers and passed to Ben Lambert for a 6-yard score with 0.5 on the clock.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Windham was stopped on fourth down at the 1.

A 33-yard run on a fake punt by Jacobson brought the Eagles deep into TA territory.

The Trojans’ Greg Ruff ending the scoring on a 4-yard run with 3:48 left. McCrum finished with 192 yards passing. Jacobson and Houser both had over 100 yards rushing.