Thornton Academy’s Isaac Ofielu looks to get past Sanford’s Caleb Saucier during Saturday’s game in Saco. SIENNA BARSTOW/Journal Tribune

SACO — The Thornton Academy football team completed their first undefeated regular season in 10 years after rolling past Sanford 48-0 at Hill Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
“The kids did a great job. We grinded it out offensively. We had to go in the wind second and third quarter and I thought we did a nice job grinding it out those two quarters and getting first downs, moving the clock and not having to punt in the wind. Defensively we played pretty well, bent a couple times and we made a couple plays to get those turnovers. Overall, great effort by our team,” said Thornton Academy head coach Kevin Kezal.
The Golden Trojans opened the scoring with 9:42 left in the first quarter. After Athan Gikas intercepted a Sanford pass, the Trojans received possession at the Spartan’s 33-yard line. Three plays later, Ean Pantry found the end zone from 1 yard out and produced a 7-0 score.
The Spartans would look to answer the Trojans touchdown at the end of the first quarter. On a fourth down play from the TA 20, Sanford QB Xavier Lavine launched the ball at Mathew Romano in the end zone but the ball was intercepted by Thornton’s Jackson Cochrane to leave the score 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.
“That was a huge play to stop that drive and Daniel (Tarbox) had another interception but overall defensively we’ve done a great job playing team D all year,” said Kezal.
Eight plays from the start of the second quarter, the Trojans scored again. At the 8:38 mark, Kobe Gaudette carried the ball 1 yard into the end zone to push Thornton’s lead to 13-0.
With 29 seconds left in the second quarter, Gaudette tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Bracamonte to end the first half with a 20-0 score.
Isaac Ofielu scored three times in the third quarter to put the game away for Thornton.
“I was a little frustrated with how I played first half and I feel like I came out and did better second half,” said Ofielu. “It was a really fun game. Sanford’s a really good team. They came in and fought so we had to fight back and I think we did that.”
In the fourth quarter, Artuu Tapola earned his first varsity touchdown and produced the final 48-0 score.
“We play a lot of guys and they’re all instrumental. Offensively, Isaac did a great job today. Our offensive line did a great job all season and today another great game out of them. Defensively, just a great team effort,” said Kezal.
Even though the Golden Trojans have completed a perfect 8-0 regular season and earned the top seed in the Class A South playoffs, Kezal knows there is still work to be done.
“We’re going to enjoy this until Monday and then we’re back to 0-0. We have to put this behind us but we’re going to enjoy this the next day and a half then Monday we’ll get back to work,” said Kezal.
— Sports Writer Sienna Barstow can be reached at [email protected] or at 780-9018. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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