By Jonathan Saenz
Photo courtesy of COD athletics.
The Roadrunners most prominent weapon has been their running game, helping them start the season with a winning record of 4-3. With over 2,500 all-purpose yards, COD’s ground game accounts for more than forty percent. The COD offensive backs responsible are Tony Williams (Freshman), Kamone Best (Sophomore), Demetrius Whitmore (Freshman) and Benjamin Myles (Sophomore).
This group of running backs have a combined total of 13 touchdowns this season. Leading the group with five touchdowns is the sophomore listed at the fullback position, Benjamin Myles. Out of the four offensive backs, Myles has the least amount of rushing attempts at 31 carries, with the most touch downs at five. This sets Myles apart from the others, making him very dangerous for opponents when the ball is in his hands.
Most fullbacks are used for blocking schemes, so it’s rare to find one as productive as Myles. “It means a lot to me because I’m really not supposed to get the ball. But they have a lot of trust in me, I’ll get the ball no matter what, down the distance, I’ll get it.” said Myles, commenting on his productiveness.
Coming off a medical redshirt is freshman running back Tony Williams. Williams suffered an injured early last season, causing him to sit out for the majority of games. Returning healthy for the current season, Williams has proved himself by rushing for a bulk of COD’s offensive yards. Averaging over six yards a carry, Williams leads the roadrunner backfield with 545 rushing yards.
“Coming in this year, it was a lot easier. I was already used to the game I guess, last year was really my transition year.” said Williams. Since taking a redshirt cancels out that season, Williams is still eligible for one more year of COD football. “As of right now, I’m returning [next season].” said Williams. So, Roadrunners can expect to have a familiar face in the backfield next year.
Named Second Team All-Mountain Conference running back in 2016, Kamone Best is no stranger to the Roadrunner backfield. Best is averaging nearly 50 yards a game and has scored two touchdowns this season. This makes Best an essential piece to COD’s offensive game plan.
“It wasn’t really about getting the touches. We’re totally three different types of backs. So, I wasn’t worried about not touching the ball, I was more worried about not winning.” said Best, commenting on his contribution to COD’s running core. When asked about personal performance, Best said, “It’s about the team, so my stats don’t mean anything. Winning is way more important.”
Former COD running back, Demetrius Whitmore was also a significant member of the Roadrunner backfield. Whitmore played in six games this season, rushing for 220 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
“Demetrius Whitmore is no longer on [the] team.” said coach Steptoe. When asked about what happened to his former teammate, Myles said, “I have no idea.” Myles continued, “It will hurt us, but we have guys that are willing to set up.” Considering the shared weight Whitmore was carrying, his absence might affect the Roadrunners powerhouse backfield.