Thomas Takes Over

John Curtis (River Ridge, La.) beat Evangel Christian for the first time in three years in Friday night's Class 2A semifinal game, and inside linebacker Eric Thomas had a monumental night for the Patriots. He explains what happened and talks about his favorite colleges inside.

John Curtis lost to Evangel Christian in both the 2009 and 2010 Class 2A state title games, and junior inside linebacker Eric Thomas (5-11, 225) was not going to let his team fall short when the two squads met Friday evening in Metairie.

Thomas recorded a dozen tackles - pushing his season total to 83, which is second best on the team - with four sacks and a blocked field goal in the Patriots' 38-6 win over Evangel.

"Our coaches had discussed blitzing when the holes were open and they were late in picking up the blitz," said Thomas, who has 10 sacks on the year. "Sometimes we would send both linebackers and one would go unblocked, because they had to block one.

"It felt great to win. We'd been working for that all year. That's what we worked for on the levee and in the weight room."

During the offseason, Curtis players frequently run up and down the Mississippi River levee, which sits only a handful of blocks west of the River Ridge campus.

On Saturday, the top-ranked Patriots (13-0) take on a second straight north Louisiana opponent when No. 2 Winnfield (14-0) travels to New Orleans for the state championship game.

"They like to run and they do a lot out of the shotgun," said Thomas of the Tigers. "Their quarterback (Alonzo Moore) is long and tall and can run fast. We can't let him go (lose containment)."

Thomas hopes to land offers from Alabama, Miami, Purdue and Georgia.

"I'm going to Miami's camp and hope they offer," he stated. "I'm also getting letters from Alabama."

Thomas ranks second behind only junior LB Duke Riley in tackles. Curtis' defense, which posted double-digit sacks vs. Evangel, has given up a total of 31 points over the past five games.

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