SCARBOROUGH — Thornton Academy held off Scarborough 34-19 in a Class A South game Friday night behind the running of quarterback Michael Laverriere and two big kick returns by Anthony Bracamonte.

Laverriere rushed for 196 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. He also threw a touchdown pass to Bracamonte to open the scoring in the first quarter.

“We made a point, we want to win the battle up front,” Laverriere said. “Getting those tough yards is what wins games.”

Thornton (5-0), the two-time state champion, led 21-12 at the half and is 15-0 all-time against Scarborough.

Bracamonte took the second-half kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown with an assist from the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Laverriere.

“I just wanted to make a play for my boys,” said Bracamonte, a sophomore. “Michael was back there lead blocking through the holes. He’s a big boy. I just put my hand on his back and followed him.”

As it did three times, Scarborough (3-2) answered the score with one of its own. After gaining territory on an exchange of punts, quarterback Zoltan Panyi (10 of 21, 134 yards passing; 80 yards rushing) found tight end Reece Lagerquist over the middle for a 36-yard gain. Owen Garrard (15 carries, 81 yards) scored his second touchdown on a 2-yard run on the next play.

“It was good that our guys didn’t give up,” Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson said. “In years past if we got down by a couple of scores our guys might not keep fighting and our guys hung in there right until the final whistle.”

After another exchange of punts – and a key third-down sack of Panyi by linebacker Cameron Houde –Thornton put together a power drive featuring 12 straight runs, capped by Laverriere from the 6.

“Mike played great and we were great on special teams,” Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal said. “They’re a good football team. It was a great game. We knew it was going to be a tough game. They’re a good football team.”

Scarborough was in position to answer back one last time, moving to the Thornton 11 when it was hit with an illegal procedure penalty and Lagerquist dropped a pass that probably would have been good for a first down on fourth-and-10. The Red Storm also were hurt by penalties in the first half.

“We’ll get better. We’ve got three more games and our guys aren’t afraid to play anybody in the playoffs,” Johnson said. “We’ve got smart kids, we’ve got good kids, they work hard, they’re tough. We’re going to get better.”

In the first half, the teams traded touchdowns on five straight possessions.

After Bracamonte’s touchdown catch, Panyi went 69 yards on a designed keeper for Scarborough. Emmett Peoples missed the point after, keeping Thornton ahead, 7-6.

Laverriere completed passes on third-and-11 and fourth-and-6 to keep the next drive alive, then finished it with a 15-yard run. Cameron Cadorette, who had two catches and an interception, knocked in his second of four PATs for a 14-6 lead.

Garrard then finished Scarborough’s 59-yard drive with a 1-yard run. The 2-point conversion failed.

Bracamonte returned the ensuing kick 54 yards. With a late-hit penalty tacked on, Thornton started at Scarborough’s 26. On second down Laverriere ran it in from the 24.