Thomas Jefferson High School senior Kendall “Speedy” Thomas caught two touchdown passes as he led the Orange Wave to a 20–14 win over host John F. Kennedy High School on Saturday afternoon.
Thomas grabbed a 24-yard pass from quarterback Al Stewart right before halftime to help the 3–0 Orange Wave tie the score at 8–8 going into the break, but that was nothing compared to what he did next: Thomas sped right past his defender in third quarter for an 83-yard touchdown reception that extend his team’s lead to 20–8 with 3:12 left in the frame. He also made a 53-yard scoring run and a 95-yard interception return that was ultimately negated by penalties — but the Xaverian transfer wasn’t upset that his stellar play didn’t count.
“Stuff like that happens all the time,” Thomas said. “I’m learning not to get upset because I know I am going to make a bigger play next time.”
The Orange Wave’s coaching staff put Thomas’s legs to work on both offensive and defensive lines on Saturday, knowing that there isn’t a player in the city that can outrun him.
“He is bringing the wood now,” Orange Wave co-coach Gus Cyrus said. “I ask him, ‘Where did the wood come from? Thanks for laying it out. We needed it today.’”
Cyrus added that his players are bonding both on the field and off, and even bought a birthday cake for co-coach Stephen Edwards this week — something last year’s squad would never have thought of doing.
“This team sticks together,” Cyrus said. “They are more like a family.”x