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Libby leads Thornton Academy to first state title in 24 years

November 19, 2012
By Ryan Kimball of RK Sports Productions

Portland - Junior running Andrew Libby rushed for 111 yards on 30 carries scoring three touchdowns to lead the Thornton Academy Golden Trojans to their first class "A" state championship in 24 years. The Golden Trojans defeated the Lawrence Bulldogs as they did in their last state title in 1988 37-23 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland on Saturday afternoon.

The class "A" state title started with fireworks. Senior running back Jake Doolan took the opening kickoff back for an 80 yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead.  

Thornton Academy responded midway through the first quarter with a 10 yard touchdown run by Libby to cut the Golden Trojans deficit to 7-6.

At the end of the first quarter the Lawrence Bulldogs lead 7-6.

Both defenses started to play well until midway through the second quarter. The Golden Trojans mishandled a punt and the Bulldogs were there sacking the punter giving Lawrence great field position. Lawrence took over on the Thornton Academy 32 yard line. With 7:55 to go in the second quarter, quarterback Spencer Carey connected with Senior wide receiver Aaron Lafrance for a 30 yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 14-6 edge.

The Golden Trojans answered on their next position tying the game up at 14-14. Senior quarterback Eric Christensen found Dakota Tarbox streaking down the field for a 54 yard touchdown with 6:03 to go in the second quarter. With 2:26 to go in the second quarter, Thornton Academy blocked a punt into the endzone for a safety to give them their first lead of the game at 16-14.

Lawrence was able to get the ball back with one minute and a half remaining in the half. The bulldogs ran the two minute offense to perfection giving them a chance to take the lead in the final seconds of the half. Chad Martin made a 36 yard field with time expiring in the first half to give the Lawrence a 17-16 lead.

Thornton Academy stepped up their defense in the second half limiting the Bulldogs offense to very little.

The Golden Trojans regained the lead back for good when Christensen scampered for a 30 yard touchdown run to give Thornton a 22-17 lead with 7:04 to go in the third quarter. After a great defensive stand, Libby returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown extending the lead to 30-17.

Lawrence made a huge play on defense with an interception by Josh Doolan in the first play into the fourth quarter giving them good field position. With 10:43 to go in the game, Josh Doolan made Thornton Academy pay with an 54 yard touchdown up the middle cutting the deficit to 30-23. 

Senior running Dylan Morton busted a 48 yard run setting up the Golden Trojans up inside the Lawrence 15 yard line with 5:39 to go in the game. Morton's game changing play ended the Bulldogs chance of winning the game. With 2:27 left in the fourth quarter, Libby scored his third touchdown of the game on a four yard run to give Thornton a 37-23 lead.

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