Thomas earns USA South Rookie honors behind first collegiate touchdown

Thomas earns USA South Rookie honors behind first collegiate touchdown

Maryville College's Trevor Thomas was named the USA South Offensive Rookie of the Week, as the first-year signal caller 122 yards of total offense for the Scots.

Thomas helped MC to 37-17 victory over USA South foe LaGrange College with both his dual-threat abilities, while the freshman recorded his first collegiate touchdown.

The Lindale, Ga. native led MC's air attack against the Panthers, as he was 8-of-13 for 99 yards and a touchdown. He added 23 yards on four carries across the ground.

The freshman quarterback averaged 5.8 yards per carry on the afternoon.

"It was a challenging week," Head Coach Shaun Hayes said. "College is hard, and you blink, and all of a sudden, you realize that maybe I may not be prioritizing the way I should. We had a long talk, and it was an unreal talk. I love that kid to death. He's always had that 'it' factor. When I sat down and talked to him, I told him that his competitive advantage is his ability to lead, wanting the ball in his hand, competing and emotionally charging people around him. It's natural with him. He had missed that for a minute. He went back out the next day, and he practiced like that. On Saturday, it was very clear and evident that those touchdown drives were due to a lot of him and how he processed and how he was detailed within the movement of the offense. It was the energy that he brought standing back there taking the snap. So, I credit him for being coachable and listening – for being taught a life lesson – and for trusting me…He bought in and did it, and this is the outcome of it."

Thomas aided the Scots on the first scoring drive of the afternoon, as he led Maryville on a seven-play, 70-yard drive. Elijah Chenier – who averaged 10.1 yards per carry – finished the drive with a 60-yard touchdown scamper to give MC the lead, 7-3, at the 13:46 mark of the second quarter.

The Scots went to the half trailing, however, as a late first-half touchdown by LaGrange made the score 9-7 after the first 30 minutes.

Thomas again had a hand in Maryville's second touchdown of the day. The Pepperell High product was 2-for-3 in the five-play, 70-yard drive. He found Juwan Hill for a 5-yard completion before connecting with Clayton Ogle for a 19-yard gain. Elijah Rachel covered the final 4 yards across the ground to give MC the lead for good, 14-9, at the 9:15 mark of the third quarter.

The freshman led the Scots on their longest drive of the season in the fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on the USA South victory. Thomas directed a 10-play, 99-yard scoring run after MC's defense held strong on a goal line stand.

In that drive, Thomas had a pair of carries for 9 yards, as he went 2-for-4 for 72 yards. The freshman accounted for 81 of the 99 yards, while he found Ogle for a 58-yard touchdown pass. The throw marked his first collegiate passing touchdown and the longest throw of his Orange and Garnet career.

That touchdown made the score 30-9, as the Scots scored 30-straight second-half points for the 37-9 victory.

On the season, Thomas has gone 24-of-50 through the air for a 48 percent completion rate. He has 270 passing yards and one touchdown.

The freshman standout ranks third on MC's rushing list with 243 rushing yards on 48 touches. He's averaged 5.1 yards per carry with a long of 39 yards on the season.

"It doesn't surprise me," Hayes said. "We'll call a pass, and he'll run. He's a very talented runner, and he's very quick. When you can get him in a situation, where he's matched one-on-one versus a linebacker – or even a safety these days – he can make anybody miss. I think you're going to see some more things come of that. He adds a threat to the offense that we've been wanting for a while. People will kind of sleep on his ability to throw the football, and he did that tremendously on Saturday with people in his face, getting out of the pocket and connecting on a vertical ball that we needed. When you have to defend the quarterback being able to run the football, it puts a lot of pressure and stress on the defense."

Saturday's win sets up a key, battle of the unbeaten for Homecoming on Saturday against Averett University. Both squads come into the game with perfect 4-0 records within the USA South Athletic Conference.

Maryville hosts the Cougars for Home to Howee on Oct. 27. The winner of that game will control their own destiny within the conference.

"I don't want to make it about Averett," Hayes said. "I respect them, and I think they have a heck-of-a football team. They play at a level that we haven't seen in a little while now. We've got to know where we're going, what we're doing and consistently play physical, emotion – but not immature – and execute. I want us to focus on us and what we're doing. It's just anoher football game. I'm going to love these kids, and this doesn't define our season. We've done a lot of great things, but if we try to focus on the other things, it's going to bite us. It's about us, and it's about our family."

Kickoff for Homecoming is slated for 2 p.m.