THORNTON ACADEMY 27, SANFORD 13: Payton Jones returned the second-half kickoff 91 yards for a go-ahead touchdown, and the reigning Class A state champions fought off a test from the Spartans in Sanford.
Both teams scored on their first play from scrimmage. Ethan Shain gave Sanford a 7-0 lead with a 59-yard run, by Julian BaileyCottle’s 72-yard run made it 7-7 just 37 seconds into the game.
Xavier Levine put Sanford back in front with a 25-yard pass to Leyton Bickford late in the first quarter, but the Spartans didn’t score again.
After the Jones touchdown gave Thornton a 14-13 lead, Koby Gaudette threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Jones late in the third quarter. Isaac Ofielu added a 20-yard TD run midway through the fourth.