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West Hall's running backs key in first win

POSTED: October 14, 2007 5:06 a.m.

For the West Hall High football team, two backs may be better than one.

The Spartans, who faced a seven-game losing skid dating back to 2006, earned their first victory of the year last Friday, defeating East Hall 37-7.

The Spartans managed to earn the ‘W’ against the Vikings thanks to the bulldozing running ability of junior fullback Daniel Drummond and speedster Marquise Stephens.

Stephens rushed for 139 yards, while Drummond finished with 115 yards on 13 carries. The rushing tandem, which combined for 254 rushing yards, went over the century mark for the second consecutive game.

"We knew going into the game that we could beat (East Hall’s) linebackers," Drummond said. "Our line opened up some great holes for us and we just followed that."

"Daniel and Marquise complement each other with their different running styles," West Hall coach Mike Newton said. "As I said after the game on Friday night, they have carried this football team when it comes to the offense. We want to get them in good situations to run the ball. And what’s also good is that they block for each other."

The two juniors have been capitalizing on the opportunities presented to them by their offensive line and each other’s blocks all season.

"Daniel and Marquise are two very different runners," Newton said. "Daniel is our power guy and Marquise is our speed, outside guy."

Through six games, Stephens has accumulated 698 yards on 108 carries (6.46 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns, while Drummond has tallied 418 yards on 75 carries (5.57 yards per carry) with four touchdowns.

For Stephens, the East Hall game marked the fourth game in a row that he eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark.

"These two guys are still both learning an offense that is new to them," said Newton. "The good thing is that they will both be back next year."

With West Hall’s subregion schedule starting Friday against Pickens, Drummond knows how important it is for he and Stephens to maintain their high level of play.

"I set a goal before the season to get 1,000 yards," Drummond said. "I also want Marquise to get 1,000 yards too.

"I just really want our team to get closer now that we’re in subregion play."



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