Juan Thornhill has had many standout performances this season to help lead Altavista to an 11-1 record coming into this week, but last Friday's game may have been one of his best yet.
Thornhill had six total touchdowns, and 258 yards on 14 carries in the second round of the playoffs against some of the toughest competition in the state. And thanks to the impressive performance from Thornhill, Altavista cruised-by Sussex Central 49 to 12 last Friday night.
"I think I played a great game but if it wasn't for my line I wouldn't do anything that I did that night," Thornhill said.
Altavista coach Mike Scharnus said: "This past week he probably had his best offensive game. I think overall, all throughout the year he's been real consistent offensively, probably a little better defensively. Friday night against Sussex he rushed for a bunch of yards and did a great job leading the offense."
Thornhill added, "The first half I started off kind of strong, but in the second half, I came out a little sluggish. I wasn't throwing the ball as well but I just kept it together and kept playing."
Thornhill has been playing football as far back as he can remember and has developed into a standout quarterback and safety for the Colonels, with skills that just can't be taught.
"As a football player, he has a great vision when he runs the football and has great vision,” Scharnus said. “Defensively, he's real instinctive. He has a good nose for the football. He has good instincts and just a smart football player."
The junior's skill set on the football field has turned the heads of many colleges, including the University of Virginia, where Thornhill has verbally committed, being recruited as a free safety.
"I've been up to a whole lot of games this year and I always liked UVA when I was really little,” Thornhill said. “And my dad played a big role in that too because he told me it was a good place to go get a good education."
Scharnus said: "It's a sense of pride when a young man is able to go play football at the next level. Academically it's a great thing to accomplish and we're awful proud of him."
But before that next chapter comes along, he and the Colonels have their sights set on winning a state championship this season -- something Thornhill accomplished last year with Altavista's basketball team. He's hoping this group of guys can follow suit and bring home the school's first state title in football since 2009 and just second in their program's history.
"Like I said before, we work hard and I really do think we can win it this year," Thornhill said.
Scharnus added: "Like a lot of teams that are playing now, we're playing with a lot of confidence. We're just trying to get better each week. I know that's an old saying there but we are trying to get better each week and just play as best we can every day."