BCP, November 20, 2018- Here’s an inside peak at the best running backs still battling with their respected teams in the playoffs, across the sunshine state within the top 80 on the rushing stat leaderboard (via Maxpreps.com) – all aboard the workhorse train!
- Senior RB Mike Weston, (1st) Nature Coast Tech (11-1) – This 6’2” 210-pounder has been an absolute stud in the offensive backfield with his tremendous size this 2018 season. Mike has amassed 2,518 rushing yards, averaging 7.8 YPC, being fed a plethora of carries with a whopping 324 (wow), putting up 228.9 YPG and finding the end zone 31 times with his set of wheels! Weston’s top performance came up big for the sharks’ scoreboard, as he totaled 307 yards rushing on 35 touches, averaging 8.8 YPC, with a long rush of 45 and hosting a TD clinic with 5 scores in a 41-20 W against South Sumter! Nature Coast Tech will take on North Marion (10-2) in their respected Class 5A Region 2 Finals.
- Sophomore RB Cornelius Shaw, (11th) Victory Christian Academy (10-1) – Another player shattering national averages is 5’11” 187-pound student athlete, Cornelius Shaw. Over the course of his first season, he’s left people wide-eyed, collecting 1,725 yards on 191 carries, averaging nearly a first down at 9.0 YPC, a long-run of 80, with 191.7 YPG and 14 rushing touchdowns, adding to the stat line also with a 50-yard kickoff return. His best game surfaced in his debut (nice first impression I’d say), in a 28-0 blowout dub at Nation Christian Academy, where he went OFF for 279 yards on 22 carries, averaging 12.4 YPC with 3 TD’s! A sure breakout candidate for the upcoming 2019 season as a junior prospect. Shaw and Victory Christian will dual Foundation Academy (9-2) in the Class 2A Region 2 Finals.
- Junior RB Demarcus Bowman, (17th) Lakeland (13-0) – Coming in at number three, we have 5’11” 195-pound back, Demarcus Bowman. He has accumulated 1,635 yards rushing on 128 touches, averaging 12.8 YPC, in his second year as a dreadnaught. Bowman’s greatest arguable showcase (too many good ones to choose from) came in a 42-0 shutout W verse George Jenkins, in which he ran for 225 yards on just 14 carries, averaging 16.1 YPC, hauled an 87-yard run and posted 5 scores with his legs! Lakeland has DOMINATED this year; check marks up and down their schedule with wins and Demarcus and the gang will faceoff in a tight matchup verse Plant (11-1) for their Class 7A Region 2 Final.
- Senior RB Walter Wilbon III, (31st) Plant (11-1) – Our second to last outstanding ball carrier is 5’11” 210-pound senior leader, Mr. Wilbon the third. In his 3rd and final campaign, Walter’s versatility has tacked on 1,477 yards rushing on 160 carries, with 123.1 YPG, averaging 9.2 YPC, tallied 15 receptions for 152 yards, 443 kick return and 64 punt return yards, running in 17 TD’s and catching 4; not forgetting about him KICKING a few punts for 112 yards- one landing inside the 20! His record best came in a 44-34 shootout victory with Gaither (met them twice), where he popped off for 245 yards on 15 touches, averaging 16.3 YPC, took a long one to the crib for 84 and scored 2 touchdowns. Walter and the Panthers will go head to head with running back his most impressive showcase Demarcus Brown and Lakeland mentioned above, a juicy game there.
- Senior RB Brandon Gregory, (79th) Venice (11-1) – Last but certainly not least, sitting pretty at five, 6’1” 205-pound senior star running back Brandon Gregory. Another 3-year guy writing his final HSFB pages and proving his upside, Gregory has gathered 1,142 rushing yards on a considerable 190 carries, averaging 6.0 YPC, 103.8 YPG, put up 12 receptions for 140 and 26 scores on the ground, 2 with his mitts. His nicest showstopper arose against Manatee in a 44-13 triumphant win, running for 186 yards on 22 carries, averaging 8.5 with a long rush of 51 and 3 to the end zone! Brandon and the Indians will dance with the Bloomingdale Bulls (11-1) for their top-tier Class 7A, Region 3 Finals.
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor