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Chris Thomas rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns in the 2005 DIII Regional Final victory over Sheridan 28-0

Chris Thomas rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns in the 2005 DIII Regional Final victory over Sheridan 28-0

Week 4
Chris Thomas

2002 - 2005
Running Back / Defensive Back

Where are living now?
Washington D.C.

Did you play collegiately?
Air Force

Married?  Children?

What are you doing now?
I am a captain in the U.S. Air Force

What is the fondest memory from your playing career at DeSales?
While they weren't necessarily pleasant at the time, I think I spend the most time reminiscing over the grinding workouts and long practices the coaches use to put us through. Our conditioning set us apart as a team, but more importantly the misery and strife associated with playing at DeSales forged lasting friendships and taught young kinds on the precipice of adulthood the importance of grit.

Relive the 2005 game against Ironton

What was your best game?
I had the unfortunate habit of getting injured during my junior and senior year, so my most memorable game may have been on the sideline.  The 2005 game against Ironton was the highest stakes game I had ever been a part of at that point in my life.  We went into it with a 5-4 record, sitting right on the playoff bubble.  The beginning of the game included of a series of unfortunate events that had us down a couple touchdowns to a team we should have been beating, and Ironton's grind-it-out-ground game on offense made it difficult to come back. We somehow managed to claw our way back to down 6 (thanks partially to the 1940s squared toed, kicking style of Ironton's place kicker) with less than 2 minutes left in the game, but had to drive the length the field against a defense that had been stonewalling us all night.  I remember screaming at  Coach Jacoby after he called a pass play for maybe the 3rd time all night on 4th and 2 with the game and our season weighing in the balance: "What the hell are you doing coach, it's 4th down!"  and he snapped back, "I know damnit!" It turns out he knew better than I, as Matt Mangini connected with Joey Rodenfels for 4 yards and a first down. That play set up one of the most clutch runs I've ever seen, as AJ Kaltenbach took a counter 65 yards for a touchdown. I sprinted down the sideline on my bum knee as AJ crossed the goal line to give him a huge hug for saving our season, tears cascading down my face. That play didn't end the drama, as AJ Príncipe's extra point to put us ahead by one sailed left, but we miraculously got a roughing the kicker call in a place not known for the impartiality of its referees. The team collectively took a deep breath, and AJ knocked the second kick straight through the uprights. The rest is history as that game catalyze our improbable playoff run to the state championship game. While I would've given almost anything to be on the field that night, I was so proud and thankful for the effort of everyone out there; they guaranteed the seniors, myself included, another week under the lights with our brothers. 

What made playing for DeSales special?
The quality of the people, the passion of the coaches, and support of the school and alumni.

Do you still follow the Stallions, and if so, how closely?
Not living in Columbus makes it difficult, but I'll catch up via Pouring Purple every couple weeks.