By Bobby Mathews, Sports Editor
IRONDALE — Sometimes The Tribune’s Player of The Week is a kid with all of the stats. That’s the way it could have broken this week, because there were three players — Moody’s Cole McCarty, Center Point’s Troy Bruce and Hewitt-Trussville’s Peyton Floyd — who each scored five touchdowns on Friday night.
Sometimes, though, the award goes to a player who sees the moment and meets it head on. This week, that was Christian Thomas.
The Shades Valley senior wideout did a little bit of everything on Friday as the Mounties went into Fairfield and won in double overtime, 34-28. He scored four touchdowns, kicked a pair of extra points and scored on a two-point conversion. But the most important thing Thomas did for his team came on the Mounties’ possession in double overtime.
Shades Valley’s defense had already stood up against Fairfield. Tied at 28 and needing a stop, the Mounties’ Malique Steel made a tackle for a loss of five yards. On second down, junior cornerback Kendall Odom broke up a pass in the end zone. On third down, Carterius Ford deflected a pass to force an incompletion. On fourth down, Fairfield attempted another pass. Odom got a hand on the ball and ended the Tiger threat.
They say timing is everything. For Thomas against Fairfield, that’s absolutely true. He came up with the biggest play of the game when his team needed him the most. He served impressively as placekicker, going 2-for-3 on PAT attempts, showcasing a versatility that not many outside the Mounties family realize.
The muscular, 5-foot-6, 160-pound wide receiver plays much bigger than his size. Thomas is an athletic and versatile player who — along with quarterback Steve Brown — makes the Mounties offense dangerous.
“At any given time, he can make a highlight reel, rather it’s on offense, special teams, or defense,” said Shades Valley offensive coordinator Baniko Harley. “C.T. is one of those players that just makes coaching a little less stressful.”
For the late-game heroics, the versatility and because of what he means to Shades Valley, Christian Thomas is The Tribune’s OrthoAlabama Spine & Sports Player of the Week.
John Goolsby contributed to this report.