FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Back runs wild—with line’s help

Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Putting up points: Maplesville’s Damian Mitchell rushed for three touchdowns and returned an interception for another score.

Putting up points: Maplesville’s Damian Mitchell rushed for three touchdowns and returned an interception for another score.

Damian Mitchell electrified the crowd at Maplesville’s George Walker Jr. Stadium last week as he rushed for 205 yards.

But MHS coach Brent Hubbert said Mitchell, The Clanton Advertiser’s Player of the Week, could have had an even more impressive performance because two punt returns for touchdowns were called back because of penalties.

Though the punt returns represent about 110 yards not included on Mitchell’s final numbers, the senior still averaged 22.8 yards per carry and added an interception returned 35 yards for a touchdown.

“He had a big night,” Hubbert said.

While Mitchell’s feats were surely plain to see for those in attendance as the Red Devils defeated Billingsley by a 48-0 score, what might have been less obvious was the stellar work of a veteran offensive line paving the way for Mitchell and the rest of the Maplesville offense.

“They did a tremendous job, all five of them,” Hubbert said. “They blocked as well as we’ve blocked in a while. If we can get that kind of performance week-in and week-out, we’ll be fine.”

Maplesville’s offensive line includes junior Larry Leggett and senior Brett Walker at left tackle, senior Kameron Ford at left guard, senior Neal Ousley at center, senior Forrest Stewart at right guard and senior Enrique Tapia at right tackle, as well as senior Chase Girlie and sophomore Loftin Smith at tight end.

The line, which returned intact from last season and was an expected team strength, helped the Devils rack up 393 rushing yards against BHS.

Hubbert likened the ongoing adjustments and counter-adjustments between teams’ offensive and defensive fronts during games to a chess match.

“We try to get folks where we want them and then take advantage of it,” he said. “Our line did a good job of adjusting to our blocking assignment.”

Honorable mention

Trenton Bishop, Chilton Co.

•Scored his team’s only touchdown, on a 3-yard run, in a 42-7 loss to Homewood.

•Completed five passes in eight attempts for 53 yards.

Rashaud Caver, Billingsley

Darius Davis, Thorsby

•Rushed 26 times for 289 yards and four touchdowns in a 50-44 loss to Tarrant.

•Completed two passes in eight attempts for 38 yards.

Kevin Nunn, Jemison

•Completed six passes in 10 attempts for 164 yards and two touchdowns in a 39-13 win over Oak Grove.

Jared Mims, Verbena

•Scored his team’s only touchdown, on a 14-yard run, in a 40-7 loss to Wadley.

Jewel Mitchell, Chilton Christian

•Rushed 15 times for 119 yards in a 46-20 loss to Marion.

Tyler Smith, Isabella

•Rushed 24 times for 280 yards and a touchdown in a 25-0 win over Randolph Co.

•Completed two passes in eight attempts for 38 yards and a touchdown.

Previous winner

•Week 1: Keyshawn Jemison, Jemison