St. Patrick running back Kolbie Spence is tearing up the turf

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Fighting Irish head coach Tom Thompson has watched his team beat Pope John Paul II 21 to 6 and West Lincoln 35 to 0.

6-foot, 235 pound running back Kolbie Spence has been a major factor in St. Patrick's turnaround. He piled up 260 yards rushing with three touchdowns Friday in the shutout win over West Lincoln.

On the season Spence, who runs a 4.6 40 yard dash, has 603 yards rushing, netting 12-point-6 yards per carry and six touchdowns.

Spence said,"The difference this year is I'm more experienced at running back. Last year I was an offensive lineman. This year coach has a lot more time to work with me over the summer and over the last summer, building myself up to be a better running back and our offensive linemen have been able to open up the holes a lot better then they had last year. They're worked on that so it gives me a better chance to run the ball."

Spence moved from offensive line to the running back position after coach Thompson clocked Spence in the 40-yard dash.  He was timed in 4.55 seconds.  Thompson says Spence has been participating in a number of summer camps and a number of colleges are beginning to take notice of the 235 pound running back who has great speed.

"He's pretty tough to take down at the second level and he has breakaway speed,"stated Thompson. "He's doing a great job for us and so is the offensive line."

Thompson believes with another year of development, Spence could play on the next level at running back or quite possibly as a quick nose tackle.

Thompson says the young men are beginning to believe in his system that he's trying to develop at St. Patrick and it's beginning to payoff in dividends under the win column.

St. Patrick has a bye-week before traveling to Pearl River, Louisiana on September 27.

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