Jontavis Curry earned Best of the Best honors this weekend after accounting for 281 all purpose yards on only 7 touches during Friday’s 42-10 second round playoff win for No. 4 Thomson over No. 9 Cook County.
Curry handed Thomson a 7-3 lead with 6 minutes remaining in the first quarter when he returned Cook County’s kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown.
The Bulldogs would go on to score 35 unanswered points by the end of the third quarter. Curry rushed 4 times for 160 yards and caught 3 passes for 42 yards in the game. Curry’s second touch came on the first play from scrimmage for Thomson’s offense midway through the first quarter. Curry took a handoff on a reverse and ran 48 yards before being pushed out of bounds to set up a 29-yard touchdown run by Anthony Jeffery on the next play.
Curry would also make runs for 61 and 40 yards as well a 34-yard reception before the game ended. The win will send Thomson to No. 2 South Atlanta for next Friday night’s quarterfinal round game. It was fitting that Curry made his final game at The Brickyard the kind of show stopping performance that we’ve become accustomed to from the area’s most dangerous weapon on a football field in years.
A threat from anywhere, any time and any method
A phrase like “a threat to score from anywhere on the field,” or even “the first play from scrimmage” can seem to have been invented for a player like Curry. In the three games I’ve watched him play since he arrived back at his hometown school in the middle of his junior season, Curry had a knack for finding the end zone early and often, and from any distance.
The first time I saw Curry play in a Thomson uniform was when the Bulldogs faced arch rival Burke County in the region championship game last season. On the first play from scrimmage for Thomson’s offense, Curry ran 75 yards for a touchdown, somehow going untouched through a crowded Burke County secondary. And the second time Curry touched it, he went 50 yards for a touchdown on the first play of another Thomson possession.
The Bulldogs won that game to give Curry the first of two region championships with Thomson to go along with the one he led Richmond to during his sophomore campaign.
The next time I watched Curry play for Thomson was the season opener this year when Thomson took on Burke County again, this time in a non-region contest. In a game that remained throughout the entire season the most well played game of the year, Curry did it again. After not seeing the ball on the team’s first series, Curry took a handoff on Thomson’s first play from scrimmage of the second quarter and ran 58 yards for Thomson’s first touchdown of the game.
Thomson is one of four area teams (Lincoln County, Thomas Jefferson and Briarwood the others) still alive in the playoffs. Quarterfinal opponent South Atlanta features its own stud rusher in Keyjuan Brown, who stands eighth on Georgia’s all time rushing list. Brown just surpassed 2,500 yards for the second straight season Friday when South Atlanta (11-0) topped Union County 42-14.
The matchup between two top-five teams with 11-game winning streaks will be one of the most highly anticipated quarterfinal round games this week. Brown might be more well known than Curry, and while running the ball nearly three times as much as Curry, Brown has been able to pile up many more total rushing yards. But Curry has matched Brown’s yards per carry (>12 yards per carry) for two seasons. And because of Curry’s ability to score from anywhere and in every way (rushing, receiving or returning), Thomson’s fans wouldn’t trade Jontavis for any back, no matter his stats.