It takes a special kind of personality to deal with all that attention from defenses, fans and the media. Extra whacks or choice words at the bottom of the pile don’t bother Thomas. They come with the territory.
“I ignore it. I don’t have time for the drama,” he said. “I run the ball hard and I get back to the huddle.”
It was the second career 200-yard rushing game against Brockton for Thomas as the Eagles beat the Boxers in three straight meetings for the first time. He has 550 yards and eight total TDs (a season’s worth for many players) in those three games.
Running into the teeth of a defense like Brockton’s is not always fun ... but if it were easy, everyone would do it.
“You have a horse, you ride him,” Eagles coach Jim O’Leary said of Thomas. “Did he have 30 carries? That wasn’t the plan, but the line did a nice job and it was a nice cool day.”
St. John’s Prep’s veteran offensive line opened some big holes. Game captain Kent Blaeser, Sean Hoey, Sean Lovett, Dom Hooven and Jacob Palmer paved the way inside and outside.
“If we do our job and Johnny does his job, we’ll end up in the end zone,” said Blaeser.
Does Thomas have a favorite lineman, a certain jersey he looks for when the defense is closing in on him?
“Where the opening is, that’s where you’ll see me,” he answered. “I know I can rely on all my guys out there.”
Boxford’s Bleaser, one of the few Eagles playing both ways, helped turn the game around by leaping on a fumble with Brockton leading 16-14 in the fourth quarter.
“I saw the ball on the ground and I wasn’t sure what was happening. I thought ‘Is this real? Did I get hit in the head and I’m imagining this?’ Then I had the ball,” he said.