STANDISH — Isaac Ofielu was pressed into the premier back role Friday night for Thornton Academy, and responded in a big way.

Ofielu carried 33 times for 222 yards, running hard between the tackles, and three touchdowns as Thornton (7-0) beat rival Bonny Eagle, 40-21.

Ofielu, a powerful 200-pound junior, is normally in a tailback rotation with Julien BaileyCottle and Grant Dow. Dow was out with an injury and BaileyCottle was hurt on the opening kickoff.

“We just had to go with Isaac the whole game. It was Isaac’s night tonight,” said Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal.

Ofielu said he was constantly inspired by teammates in the huddle. As the carries piled up, “I got more angry. They were smacking me so I decided I had to smack them back. You have to make a claim.”

The Scots (5-2) have lost two straight for the first time since the first two games in 2015.

Kobe Gaudette of Thornton threw for two touchdowns. Anthony Bracamonte caught one TD pass, rushed for 108 yards and returned a kick 84 yards for another score, just after Bonny Eagle cut the lead to 33-21 with 7:10 to play on a Keegan Meredith to Will Whyte 55-yard pass.

“Thornton’s so good on special teams. We knew we had to play great on special teams and for the most part we did. We just happened to let one get away,” said Scots Coach Kevin Cooper.

Meredith threw for three touchdowns, the first two to Nate Ferris, and 152 yards.

Bonny Eagle was without quarterback Zach Maturo, a dynamic runner who shares time with Meredith. Maturo was injured late in last week’s loss at Oxford Hills. Cooper said Maturo could be ready for the regular-season finale at Scarborough and almost surely for the playoffs.

“Obviously Zach Maturo is a great player, a great kid, an integral part of our team,” Cooper said. “We’d have loved to have him out there but I thought our team rallied around Keegan and I thought Keegan played great.

Thornton also was without starting defensive lineman Costa Gikas.

Ofielu responded with 109 yards in the first half and a 6-yard scoring run that put Thornton ahead 14-7. It came after Thornton turned a bad play into a break.

On a third-and-10, Gaudette’s deep pass hung up and Alex Dyer returned an interception about 30 yards before fumbling. Thornton got it at its 34.

With a second chance, the Trojans gained big chunks. Ofielu had runs of 12 and 16, and Bracamonte (13 carries, 108 yards) found rare first-half room for 19 more.

Thornton scored on its first possession when Gaudette connected with tight end Ethan Logan for a 26-yard score.

Bonny Eagle quickly came back. Whyte picked up 23 on a third-and-10 run and Meredith found Nate Ferris on a slant pass. Ferris bobbled the ball but pulled it in on the move and finished the 25-yard scoring play.

Just before the half ended, with Thornton at the Scots’ 18, Dyer intercepted a pass in the end zone.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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