Thomas rushes for 272 yards, 3 TDs in Jacksonville win over Weaver
by Chris Brown
Special to The Star
Sep 28, 2013 | 2737 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jacksonville's Dominique Thomas rushed for 272 yards. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
Jacksonville's Dominique Thomas rushed for 272 yards. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
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WEAVER — Jacksonville High’s Dominique Thomas put together a night to remember in lifting the Golden Eagles to a 42-14 win over Calhoun County rival Weaver on Friday night.

He broke tackles, gained yards after contact, and found the open field consistently.

“That is how I run. I tell myself I’ll never get taken down by one person,” said Thomas.

Before the Golden Eagles’ starters were pulled midway through the fourth quarter, Thomas found his way to 272 rushing yards on 29 carries with touchdown runs of 1, 1 and 34 yards.

“Dominique did a great job tonight in getting those yards, and our offensive line. You have to give those guys credit when someone rushes for those yards,” Jacksonville head coach Clint Smith said.

While Thomas saw the bulk of the load, junior Sid Thurmond pitched in as well. With the game tied 7-7 in the second quarter, Thurmond took a jet-sweep handoff around the right end then sliced through the Weaver defense for a 42-yard touchdown run.

“Jacksonville is a very good team,” Weaver head coach Daryl Hamby said. “We’ll see him (Thomas) on Saturdays. There’s no doubt about that. That kid is very good.

“He runs the ball hard, and won’t go down on one tackle. I can’t say enough about him. He is tough.”

Weaver answered Thurmond’s run with a 15-yard quarterback draw by Timothy Hawkins. The scoring drive was fueled by a 32-yard reception from Hawkins to Matthew Durham on a third-and-19 play from the Bearcats’ own 18 yard-line. Another pass completion from Hawkins to Austin Jennings of 21 yards helped keep the momentum during the drive.

With 37 seconds left before half, Jacksonville quarterback Jackson Bell found Thurmond on a drag route across the middle, and he took the reception 16 yards for the go-ahead score.

For the second week in a row, the first play after a defensive turnover turned into a scoring play for the Golden Eagles. After Elijah Cunningham picked off a pass, Bell immediately went to the air and found Payton Sims for a 40-yard touchdown reception.

“It’s a good win for us, a big win, and we are just excited to get things back into the win column after a hard-fought loss last week,” Smith said. “I’m proud to get the win, and proud of my guys.”

For the Bearcats, starting running back Chris Troge’ was injured on the first play of the game as he took a handoff for a 3-yard gain and took a helmet to the knee.

Chris Arnold was the guy stepping up as he scored Weaver’s first touchdown on a 6-yard draw in the first quarter. He finished the night with 18 carries for 85 yards. Another star was Jennings, who was Hawkins’ favorite target, he hauled in six receptions for 113.
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