SACO — Greg Ruff scored four touchdowns and rushed for 227 yards on 30 carries Saturday as Thornton Academy rebounded from a loss a week ago with an impressive 48-7 victory against Scarborough in a Class A South football game at Hill Stadium.

Austin McCrum threw for two touchdowns, and the Trojans recovered three fumbles and intercepted two passes.

Scarborough (3-2) surprised Thornton by taking a 7-0 lead on the opening drive. But the Trojans got the message, scoring 48 unanswered points.

After falling behind, Thornton gave the ball to Ruff, who started to pick up large chunks of yardage, a trend that continued until the game was out of hand.

Thornton (4-1) lost 24-14 last week at Windham.

“We knew we had to come out hard,” said Ruff. “Scarborough came out harder and caught us off guard. We knew we could go get the points. The line worked hard and got the job done.”

Thornton had to punt on its first series but didn’t punt again.

Asked what play was successful, Ruff said: “It was the run. The coach calls the plays and I run them.”

Ruff usually shares running duties with Michael Laverriere, but with Laverriere seeing limited duty on offense while playing defense, Ruff became the featured back. Laverriere is coming back from a lower-body injury.

“Greg played great and the line did a great job,” said Coach Kevin Kezal. “The kids played with a lot of emotion. They did a nice job on Homecoming. It was good to see the running game get going. The pass helped to open things up.”

The pivotal play came midway through the second quarter with Thornton leading 14-7. Jack Hughes of Scarbrough passed to Griffin Madden for a 32-yard gain to the 2, but Thornton stripped the ball and Corey Hart recovered for the Trojans.

Ruff ripped off 14 yards on first down and Thornton went on to complete a 98-yard scoring drive in 13 plays, overcoming a a holding penalty and a personal foul.

“That was huge,” said Kezal of the fumble recovery. “We worked on that in practice with the second man coming in to strip the ball.”

The key play in the drive that made it 21-7 was a 46-yard completion from McCrum to Ben Lambert just over midfield. McCrum had to scramble to avoid being tackled and Lambert made a leaping catch.

On Thornton’s opening series of the second half, McCrum and Lambert combined on a 57-yard touchdown play.

The Trojans got another strip after a Scarborough completion later in the second quarter, which led to a touchdown just before halftime to make it 28-7.

“You can’t turn it over five times against a team like that,” said Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson. “Thornton is a very good football team. They had it revved up. You’re not going to stop them all the time but you hope to stop them occasionally. We have smart kids. We’ll learn from this loss.”

Madden returned the opening kickoff 35 yards. Hughes passed to Madden for a 20-yard score and the Red Storm had a 7-0 lead after only 2:03.

Hughes was 15 of 20 for 184 yards passing. McCrum was 12 of 16 for 228 yards.

Looking ahead, Kezal said: “We made too many penalties. We have to be more disciplined going forward.”

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