Thornton’s role continues to grow for Wolfpack

jgiglio@newsobserver.comSeptember 28, 2013 

N.C. State, NC State, Wolfpack, ACC, football, Dave Doeren, Cent

N.C. State running back Shadrach Thornton (10) outruns Central Michigan defensive back Kavon Frazier (5) for a 29-yard touchdown run during the first half of on Saturday, September 28, 2013, at Carter-Finley Stadium.

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Shadrach Thornton got a second chance from N.C. State coach Dave Doeren. The sophomore running back made sure he made the most of it in Saturday’s 48-14 win over Central Michigan.

Thornton ran for 71 yards and scored a 29-yard touchdown, his second in as many weeks, since returning from a one-game suspension.

Thornton was grateful for a bigger role in the Wolfpack’s offense on Saturday.

“When you get your spot back, man, it means a lot more to you,” Thornton said. “You don’t take nothing for granted. You run every down as if it’s your last because you never know.”

Doeren suspended Thornton, the team’s leading rusher a year ago, after June arrest for misdemeanor assault on a female charge.

Thornton has since cleaned up his legal charges and he’s trying to “stay humble and hungry” on the football field.

He missed the opener against Louisiana Tech and was demoted behind junior Tony Creecy and freshman Matt Dayes for the first three games of the season.

Thornton had only two touches in last week’s 26-14 loss to Clemson — a 21-yard touchdown run and a 32-yard catch.

Doeren said earlier this week that Thornton had to earn a bigger role in the offense. That’s fine with Thornton, who ran for 694 yards last season.

“Really, I’m just here to do what they need me to do,” Thornton said. “They told me that my role would increase as the weeks progressed and I continue to get better.”

THOMAS FOR SIX: It took four games and 113 passes, but quarterback Pete Thomas threw his first touchdown pass of the season and of his Wolfpack career.

Thomas hit Bryan Underwood on an 80-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for his first touchdown pass since his sophomore season at Colorado State in 2011.

“It’s about time,” Thomas said.

Thomas also ran for an 8-yard touchdown on Saturday, his second rushing TD of the season, and finished the game 14 of 20 for a season-best 244 yards.

Still, Thomas’ demeanor after Saturday’s win wasn’t much different than one he had after last Thursday’s loss to Clemson. He said he thinks he can play better.

“I want to be perfect,” Thomas said. “I know you can’t be perfect but there were a lot more plays to be made out there. If I do my job better, more guys have touchdowns.”

There was one bit of news that brightened Thomas’ week. He was happy for former teammate and friend Mike Glennon, who’ll make his first NFL start at quarterback today for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Thomas said he has talked with Glennon, the Wolfpack’s starter last season, this week but he hasn’t offered any advice.

“I don’t think he needs any advice from me, if anything I need advice from him,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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