SCARBOROUGH — For the second time this season, the Thornton Academy football team stopped a 2-point conversion to win a game by a 28-27 score.

Friday night, the stop came in the first overtime. After Julien BaileyCottle scored on a 5-yard run and Brady Forbes added the extra point for Thornton in its possession, Scarborough had its turn to go first-and-goal from the 10.

On third down, Scarborough quarterback Chase Cleary snuck in from the 1. But when the Red Storm tried to go for the win with a 2-point conversion, Cleary was stuffed well short of the goal line, ending the game and giving the defending Class A champions their 20th straight win.

Thornton (9-0) will be the top seed in the Class A playoffs that begin next week. Scarborough (7-2) will be the third seed.

In the second game of the season, Thornton beat Class B power Marshwood, 28-27. In that game, Marshwood scored to pull within a point in the waning seconds and tried to go for the win, only to be stopped inches short.

“This year we had a really tough schedule at the beginning of the year so it really helped with this game,” said BaileyCottle, who rushed for 105 yards.


The game was a back-and-forth affair after a scoreless first period despite Scarborough having four turnovers to none for Thornton.

Three of the turnovers came on second-half fumbles. Jarett Flaker of Scarborough fumbled away the second-half kickoff. After the Trojans made it 21-21 on the first play of the fourth quarter, Flaker fumbled a pitch at the Thornton 38, and on the next drive Cleary was ruled to have fumbled at the Thornton 27. Cleary’s fumble was vehemently disputed by Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson, who felt Cleary was down and on his back when the ball was stripped away by Isaiah Jones of Thornton.

Scarborough led 14-13 at the half.

The Red Storm overcame three penalties on their first scoring drive and a bobbled snap at the Thornton 1 that Cleary was able to control before burrowing in for the first score.

Thornton answered on a 9-yard run by its quarterback, Kobe Gaudette. That drive was keyed by a 20-yard strike by Gaudette to Hayden Pomerleau, with a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty tacked on.

Flaker (12 carries, 138 yards) showed his Maine-best 100-meter speed when he took a sweep around tight end, cut behind a good perimeter block and went 70 yards untouched.

Thornton answered with some power running by BaileyCottle (13 carries, 83 yards in the first half). He was particularly effective running left with Daniel Tarbox lined up at tight end. BaileyCottle got the drive going with a 12-yard run and finished it with another 12-yarder. Forbes missed the extra point.

Scarborough extended its lead to 21-13 on a 19-yard pass from Cleary to Dominic Spina to cap a quick 64-yard drive. Flaker had two explosive runs for 31 yards on the drive and also caught two passes for another 14 yards.

Thornton tied it on its next drive, with the key play a 47-yard scamper by Gaudette to the Scarborough 5. On third down, Costa Gikas took his first carry of the game in from the 2, then scored the 2-point conversion on the same power run up the middle to tie the game.

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