Bruins set for improved Owls

Friday, September 3, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:16 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

The last time the Rock Bridge football team played Marshall, quarterback Paul Wayne Thomas wasn’t a factor.

Thomas, the son of Marshall coach Paul Thomas, threw two touchdown passes at last week’s Higginsville jamboree and led an offense that successfully converted all seven third-down attempts.

Paul Wayne Thomas, a sophomore, will have an opportunity to help his team avenge last season’s 42-6 loss to Rock Bridge in its season opener at 7 tonight at the MHS Athletic Complex in Marshall.

“(The Owls) are going to come out and play hard like they always do,” Rock Bridge coach A.J. Ofodile said. “(They will) give us all we can handle.”

Ofodile said he thinks that Marshall’s offense might benefit with the younger Thomas at quarterback, speculating that he ought to be familiar with his father’s offensive playbook.

The Owls’ offensive success last week can also be attributed to running back Steven Colbert, who had a strong jamboree with 65 yards rushing.

Paul Thomas said that success against Rock Bridge will depend on more than individual players.

“Our offensive and defensive lines have to play well,” Thomas said. “If they don’t, we’ll be in trouble.”

Rock Bridge also will rely on sophomores at key positions. Logan Gray will start at quarterback for Rock Bridge after spending the majority of last season observing Chase Patton, and Scott Concannon is expected to handle the running back duties. “We’re not ready yet,” Ofodile said after practice Monday afternoon, “(but) we’ll have to be by Friday. Their offense can make you look bad.”

Concannon, who doubles as a cornerback for Rock Bridge, said he thinks the Bruins’ defense is prepared.

“We’re confident we can stop them,” he said. “We’re out here to prove ourselves.”

Demond Thorpe, a Rock Bridge senior, said he hopes to contribute on both sides of the ball, too. In addition to playing linebacker, Thorpe will move from wide receiver to tight end. He said he believes he can develop skills in his new position that will help him stand out to college recruiters.

“It’ll show that I can also block,” Thorpe said. “I like it a lot better than wide receiver.”

Thorpe said his team has to be careful to not underestimate Marshall tonight.

His coach agreed.

“We’re not in a position to overlook anybody,” Ofodile said.

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