SCARBOROUGH — Thornton Academy did enough to hang around, then made all the key plays at the end.

Golden Trojans sophomore quarterback Will Mitchell directed three fourth-quarter scoring drives to bring his team back from a 14-point deficit and Thornton beat Scarborough, 32-28, Friday night in Class A action.

Mitchell, who threw for just 22 yards in the first half, finished 17 of 26 for 243 yards and three touchdowns, including the winning 8-yard pass that he floated into the corner of the end zone for Anthony Bracamonte with 45 seconds to play.

“We had much more time to pass the ball for sure,” Mitchell said. “Everything just calmed down and was relaxing, read the reads and it was there.”

Mitchell started the comeback with consecutive passes for 23 and 25 yards to C.J. LaBreck and then ran it in from the 5 to cut the deficit to 28-20.

LaBreck, the Trojans’ main receiving target, then turned a quick hitch into a 70-yard touchdown, making it 28-26 with 4:51 to play.

Thornton improved to 3-0 and is now 16-1 all-time against Scarborough. The Red Storm beat Thornton in last year’s regional semifinal.

Scarborough (2-1), the more veteran team, was hurt by three fumbled snaps that resulted in turnovers – the first two setting up short scoring drives for Thornton – and 10 penalties.

Thornton was the team that played with poise throughout, staying in the game in the first half with solid defense and then opening up the offense in the second half when it needed to.

“We grew up a lot tonight,” said Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal. “We told them, just play with great effort and don’t look at the scoreboard and the clock. Just go out and play your hearts out and our kids did that tonight.”

Scarborough twice had the opportunity to expand its lead after LaBreck’s score. The first drive ended when quarterback Zoltan Panyi suffered his third lost fumble after a low snap. Scarborough was without its starting center and captain Ben Hughes. Sophomore Max Piispanen played center.

The next drive was halted when Jaquan Seme fumbled an end around. Reece Lagerquist –who had kept the Red Storm in front by knocking down Mitchell’s two-point conversion pass – recovered the ball but Scarborough had to punt, with Thornton taking over at its own 31 with 1:49 to play.

“Too many penalties, too many mistakes. Just too sloppy,” said Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson. “We’ve got to clean it up and hats off to (Thornton) they played hard. They finished the game.”

Mitchell’s 38-yard connection with LaBreck over the middle brought the ball to the 20. Two Bracamonte runs gained a first down and set up the winning score.

Mitchell said once he saw the cornerback pressing Bracamonte on the outside, he was confident in the chance of success.

“He has great agility and I knew I was going to put the ball there,” Mitchell said.

LaBreck, a former running back, finished with eight catches for 213 yards.

“We just had to keep our mental toughness,” LaBreck said. “We wanted to go make some plays. I think this is a big win for us.”

Tied 7-7 at the half, Scarborough went ahead 14-7 on Owen Garrard’s 14-yard touchdown run.

A Scarborough fumble set up a Jason Montano 2-yard score for Thornton.

Scarborough had control after Jarett Flaker’s 28-yard touchdown run and a 74-yard Panyi-to-Cody Dudley touchdown pass, the latter coming with 9:27 left in the game.