LEXINGTON TWP. The Marlington Dukes needed just one first down to pin Louisville’s backs against the wall.
Dymonte Thomas gave them more. A lot more.
It was hardly a surprise after the night he had.
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Thomas’ 54-yard touchdown run with 2:10 left gave Marlington breathing room, and the Dukes went on to beat the Leopards 34-24 Friday in a Northeastern Buckeye Conference showdown.
The University of Michigan recruit’s fourth touchdown of the night pushed his rushing total over 300 yards. He finished with 309 yards and four TDs.
Thomas is Player of the Week. He discusses his team's season and his popular Twitter account.
Watch some of Thomas' touchdowns on "Game Night.
Two of Thomas’ touchdowns came in the final 4:08. They bookended Joey Duckworth’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Alex Schooley with 2:29 left which cut Louisville’s deficit to three.
“We knew they’re always leaving the middle open, because their ’backers always fly over top of the pitch,” Thomas said. “The coaches said we’re going to run zone left, zone right and mid line, and we just want you to get the ball and run behind center. There were holes there, and I just took off.”
Thomas would have set Marlington’s single-game rushing record if Alden Hill had not played for the Dukes. Hill, who now plays at the University of Tennessee, ran for 315 yards and five touchdowns last year against St. Thomas Aquinas.
Thomas also had touchdown runs of 51 and 87 yards in the first half as the Dukes improved to 4-0.
“He’s a special kid,” Marlington head coach Ed Miley said. “... Guys like that don’t come around very often. He’s your horse, and you better ride him.”
The 54-yard run marked the second consecutive week Thomas scored a decisive touchdown late in a game.
He had a game-winning 27-yard TD run with 4:15 left in last week’s 17-14 victory at Aquinas.
“I said ‘Hey line, when I get the ball, I just want you guys to leave me holes, and I’ll take off and do what I can do,’” Thomas said. “They did a good job with that.”
They also opened holes for quarterback Shawn Kirk when the Leopards were keying on Thomas early in the second half. Kirk finished with 120 yards on 21 carries and scored on a 25-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
Duckworth threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns for Louisville, but was intercepted four times. Schooley had two touchdown catches and Trent Ohman caught 10 passes for 180 yards for the Leopards (2-2).