Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
FRANKFORT — Nate Throckmorton doesn’t like to talk about Nate Throckmorton.
Instead, Adena’s talented senior tailback would rather pass along credit to his offensive line each and every time he gets the chance to do so.
“I’m always looking to score and I’m looking for the right holes to bust through,” Throckmorton said. “But our offensive line is full of great leaders. Those guys are always pushing each other. They’re a bunch of goofballs but they’re a great group to be around and run behind.”
And while the Warriors’ front five certainly deserve the recognition, the truth is that Throckmorton is pretty daggone good himself … whether he’ll admit that or not.
In eight games, Throckmorton has rushed for 938 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s been equally as impressive in the defensive secondary, tallying three interceptions and a handful of tackles.
But if he had to pick a side of the ball to play on, it’s offense. And it makes sense, considering he’s a threat to score anytime the ball in his hands.
“I like offense better. It’s always been a thing for me,” Throckmorton said. “I love defense but I just feel more free when the ball is in my hands. I can make more out of it.”
Throckmorton’s coaches and teammates also feel comfortable with the ball in Throckmorton’s hands. While he’s a man of few words, he’s looked at as one of the team’s leaders.
He’s not the type of player who’s going to get his peers hyped up with words or pre-game energy. Instead, he goes about his business and leads by example. What’s not to like about that?
“Nate leads by example. He’s one of those guys who’s going to stay after practice and do the extra work,” Adena coach John Penwell said. “He’s always putting that time in and It’s paying off. I describe him as the ultimate competitor. He always rises to the challenge.”
In the team’s 28-0 win over Minster in a Division VI, Region 24 Quarterfinal, Throckmorton rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown … totals that were paced by an 89-yard touchdown run to get the night’s scoring started.
The week before that, he rushed for 156 yard in a 37-0 win over Rockford Parkway, which was the program’s first-ever playoff win.
But Throckmorton couldn’t care less about the numbers and the totals. He’s simply worried about helping his team advance and continuing the sense of brotherhood they’ve built.
“We’ve grown up together and have become one big family,” Throckmorton said. “That’s especially true for me with Preston Sykes. He’s probably my best friend. A moment I remember with us is probably last year against Mechanicsburg. We go into halftime up 7-6. We thought we had a good chance of pulling out a win. But that just didn’t happen. We just have to finish strong this time around.”
Mechanicsburg, who won that game against Adena last season by a 32-7 final, is a team that beat Paint Valley — a solid football team in its own right — 55-7 in last week’s regional quarterfinals.
So Throckmorton, as well as the rest of Adena’s roster, is well aware of just how good Mechanicsburg can be.
“Mechanicsburg has a bunch of really good athletes. But this year, I think our defense has been awesome,” Throckmorton said. “We’re going to watch film on them and see what they’re capable of. I believe we can stop them.”
It’s a task that’s easier said than done. But that’s why they play the game.
This Adena team is one that ranks with the school’s greatest of all-time. They’ve taken no prisoners this season and have outscored their last three opponents by an 111-0 margin.
And there’s no change of plans in the forecast as the Warriors meet with the Indians at 7 p.m., Saturday at London High School.
“Last year, that game left a bad taste in our mouths,” Throckmorton said. “We’ve had it in our minds all season. Here we are playing them again. We’ve just got to focus and have the right mentality.”