Anthony Bracamonte knows he’s small.

But on the football field, the 5-foot-7, 150-pound senior slot back has made huge contributions for the unbeaten Thornton Academy football team.

“I’ve always been on the shorter side but I never used that as a disadvantage,” said Bracamonte, a three-year starter.

“He’s been fun to watch. He’s certainly a special player,” said Thornton Academy Coach Kevin Kezal.

Bracamonte has scored 19 TDs this fall: six rushing, eight receiving and five on kick returns. He’s piled up 1,456 all-purpose yards, and averaging 15.17 yards on 96 total touches, doing it all with what seems to be an ever-present smile.

“I have a real bubbly family and we’ve just always tried to take every day on with a positive attitude,” Bracamonte said. “There’s no reason to ever be upset.”

On Saturday, Bracamonte hopes to have a new reason to smile – helping Thornton reach its first state final since 2015.

Bracamonte and the No. 1 Trojans (9-0) host No. 2 Scarborough at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Class A South regional final at Hill Stadium. Scarborough, the defending Class A champ, has eliminated Thornton the past two seasons, including a 49-7 win last year in the regional final.

Earlier this season, Thornton beat Scarborough 35-13, with Bracamonte gaining 145 yards of offense (77 rushing, 68 receiving) and rushing for two scores.

Since cracking the starting lineup as a sophomore, Bracamonte has become known for his ability to run the jet sweep. Lining up as a slot receiver, Bracamonte comes in motion, takes a handoff and then stretches the defense’s pursuit until the last second, using an uncanny ability to find a sliver of space and cut through the maze of blockers and would-be tacklers.

“He’s got that stuff that’s uncoachable,” said Kezal. “He’s got great vision. He kind of understands where the blocks are going to be. He sets up his blockers well.”

This season Thornton has also incorporated a designed cutback counter play for Bracamonte. Lined up in the backfield, Bracamonte takes a jab step in one direction and then cuts off the edge of down-blocking linemen. He had five such carries for 41 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown against Scarborough in the regular season.

“They were able to get the running back just outside and we weren’t able to contain it off the edge,” said Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson.

This season, Bracamonte is Thornton’s second-leading rusher with 60 carries for 601 yards and six touchdowns. Isaac Ofielu leads Thornton with 875 yards on 125 carries.

Bracamonte leads the Trojans in catches (22), receiving yards (435), touchdown catches, kickoff returns (five for 155 yards a TD) and punt returns (nine for 265 yards and four TDs).

For his career, his all-purpose yardage is “around 3,800,” Kezal said.

“Coming in we knew he was a good athlete. Our concern was the durability with his size,” Kezal said.

“We figured out really quick that wasn’t going to be an issue. His sophomore year it ended up being him and Michael Laverriere. He ended up being kind of our number two go-to guy as a sophomore.”

Laverriere ended up winning the Fitzpatrick Trophy in 2016.

Now it’s Bracamonte’s turn to be in the conversation for the award that goes to Maine’s top senior football player.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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