The Golden Trojans advance to the state final with a 53-21 win over the defending state champions.
SACO — Anthony Bracamonte was sick of losing to Scarborough in the playoffs, and with a big assist from his talented teammates, he did something about it Saturday afternoon at Hill Stadium.
Bracamonte rushed for 300 yards and three touchdowns, returned a kickoff for a TD and even completed a 2-point conversion pass to lead top-ranked Thornton Academy to a 53-21 victory over the second-seeded and defending state champion Scarborough in the Class A South final on a chilly and windy afternoon.
After Scarborough cut a 20-point deficit to 28-21 in the third quarter, Bracamonte scored on a 78-yard run on the next snap, and the Golden Trojans never looked back as they improved to 10-0, ended the Red Storm’s season at 7-2 and advanced to meet Portland (9-1) in the state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
“I hadn’t beaten Scarborough in the playoffs since the eighth grade, so winning with this group of seniors means so much,” said Bracamonte. “I couldn’t have done it without my linemen and my receivers creating holes.”
Thornton, which lost at home to the Red Storm in the 2016 semifinals and at Scarborough in last year’s regional final, seized control right away with a 12-play, 60-yard drive that took more than seven minutes, with conversions of third-and-9, fourth-and-2 and third-and-7. The Trojans went ahead 7-0 on an 18-yard pass from Kobe Gaudette to Ethan Logan.
On the final play of the first quarter, Bracamonte produced his first big play, weaving through the defense for a 38-yard score and a 14-0 advantage.
After a Scarborough fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Gaudette scored on an 18-yard run for a 20-0 lead.
“You obviously want to come out and play well,” said Thornton Academy Coach Kevin Kezal. “We had the wind and wanted to take advantage. It was good to get an early lead.”
In the final minute of the half, the Red Storm recovered a fumble, then got on the board when Chase Cleary found Jared Quintiliani for a 5-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 20-7.
The second half began in breathtaking fashion. Bracamonte returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown, but Scarborough standout Jarett Flaker countered with an 80-yard score on the ensuing kickoff. The Red Storm then pulled within 28-21 when Cleary connected with Flaker for a 38-yard touchdown, then passed to Zach Alofs for the 2-point conversion.
Bracamonte stalled Scarborough’s comeback, though, breaking free for a 78-yard score on the next play. After recovering a squib kick, the Golden Trojans extended their lead to 40-21 when Grant Dow scored on a 4-yard run.
In the final quarter, Dow had a 1-yard TD run and Bracamonte added a 92-yard scamper.
“(Losing to Scarborough) last year and the year before was a terrible feeling,” Dow said. “It’s a great feeling this year. It’s really exciting.”
Thornton finished with 517 yards, including 108 yards on 17 carries from Isaac Ofielu. The Red Storm managed 302 yards but turned the ball over four times.
“We got within a score, but that’s as close as we could get,” said Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson. “I’m proud of my guys. They learned and got better and better as the season went on, but we just ran into a really good team today.”