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3A State Championship: Thomas Johnson plays for Coach Wright

The Thomas Johnson Patriots face River Hill's complex offense in the 3A State Championship.
Thomas Johnson has been playing inspired football in recent weeks. They've been playing to win the school's first state title since 1982, but they've also been playing for coach Ben Wright, who announced that this will be his final season at the helm for the Patriots.  David Smith, Senior Lineman says "It just makes us want to come out here and try ten times harder for him, because we know this is going to be his last chance to win a state title at T.J."  Jeremy Kline said "It definitely gave us extra motivation to even try even harder just for him."

Coach Wright doesn't want to be the motivation for his team's run to the state championship game.
"After we beat Damascus, they said they won the game for me. And I told them, 'You don't win the game for me, I'm just along for the ride. Win it for yourself and your school and your community. That's what's important.  I just have the pleasure of being with them."  TJ's had to go on the road to win each playoff game, but playing away from home is something that Wright sees as a good thing.

"We're used to it. Really it's easier, I think. You just show up and play and leave. There's not a lot of issues that you have to deal with sometimes that you do at home, and I think our kids are pretty acclimated to it right now."

As for the challenges that River Hill presents ... Coach Wright says he sees similarities between the Hawks and one of College Football's most explosive offenses.

"Their quarterback runs probably better than any Quarterback we've played against. He's extremely quick. So all four of their backs are a threat. They're like Oregon. They're all over the field formation-wise, and motions and things like that. So we've got to be really focused on what they're doing and how they line up and, you know, really hustle to the ball."  Richard Pearch, senior lineman said, "All the things that he does for everybody on this team, he's like a father, so, you know it means a lot for us to be his last team and to really have this chance to give him what he's always wanted."




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