By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Football Player of the Week: Gainesville's Teryan Rucker
Red Elephant RB runs for 140 yards, two TD's
Placeholder Image

The Blitz: Your source for high school football.

Get live scores: Sign up to receive football scores every Friday night. 

Honor roll

Zac Allen, Jefferson: 16 carries, 101 rushing yards in a win over Commerce.

Imani Cross, Flowery Branch: 18 carries, 176 rushing yards, two touchdowns in win over Stephens County.

BJ Dorsey, Lumpkin County: Nine tackles, two sacks in a win over Dawson County.

Tom Drury, Lakeview: 25 carries, 128 rushing yards, one touchdown in a loss to Fellowship Christian.

AJ Johnson, Gainesville: 15 tackles in a win over Chestatee.

Nathan Jones, North Hall: 12 tackles, one tackle for loss, one interception in a win over Johnson.

Dylan Lackey, Banks County: 18 carries, 98 rushing yards, one touchdown in loss to Washington-Wilkes.

Dylan Mann, North Hall: Two interceptions in a win over Johnson.

Jake McClure, Lumpkin County: 15 carries, 77 rushing yards; seven tackles, one tackle for loss in a win over Dawson County.

Darius Minor, Jefferson: 10 carries, 85 rushing yards, one touchdown; 4-for-6 passing, 95 yards, two touchdowns in a win over Commerce.

Ishmail Nuckles, West Hall: Seven catches, 167 yards in loss to East Jackson.

Kolt Owenby, Union County: 16-for-28 passing, three touchdowns; 83 rushing yards, one touchdown in win over Hayesville, N.C.

Connor Shaw, Flowery Branch: 94 rushing yards, two touchdowns; 9-for-14 passing for 91 yards and one touchdown in a win over Stephens County.

Blake Sims, Gainesville: 15-for-23 passing, 172 yards, two touchdowns; nine carries, 82 rushing yards in a win over Chestatee.

Thomas Sprague, Gainesville: 21 tackles, recovered fumble for a touchdown in a win over Chestatee.

Shunquez Stephens, West Hall: 349 passing yards one touchdown; two rushing touchdowns in loss to East Jackson.

Mack VanGorder, North Hall: 11 carries, 63 yards, three touchdowns in a win over Johnson.

Marquise Young, West Hall: 106 rushing yards, one touchdown in loss to East Jackson.

Tyler Young, Lakeview: 11 tackles, two sacks in a loss to Fellowship Christian.

Teryan Rucker tried to enter last week’s game just like any other in his high school football career.

But he knew better than most that this wasn’t just any other Friday night. For once, the spotlight was on the 5-foot-9 running back who often toils in the shadows of the Red Elephants’ offensive stars.

Before the game, a jersey was hung below the press box at Bobby Gruhn Field in honor of Rucker’s mother, Teresa Williams, who passed away in January. What followed was a performance that would make any mama proud.

Rucker rushed 14 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns in the Red Elephants’ 34-0 win over Chestatee, including several big runs that helped put Gainesville up 21-0 at halftime and overcome 135 yards in penalties.

For his efforts, Rucker has been selected as The Times Football Player of the Week.

"I do everything I do on the football field in remembrance of my mom, because I know she wanted to be here," Rucker said. "She always loved football season."

What Rucker does on the football field is a little bit of everything. His performance Friday night represented a career high in rushing yards, but it wasn’t necessarily a surprise after he rushed for 676 yards (7.9 yards per carry) in 2008. He’s also accomplished as a receiver (511 receiving yards last season) and as a kick returner (27-yard average) and Gainesville coach Bruce Miller touts his abilities as a blocker. Despite all that, Rucker and his fellow Red Elephant running backs often go unnoticed due to the fact that they share the ball with 2008 All-Staters quarterback Blake Sims and wide receiver Tai-ler Jones.

Rucker says that’s not issue.

"We know that we’re not going to get our name called too many times, so when we do get it called, we just try to do the best with the opportunities," he said. "The running back corps, we stress playing for the team and not for ourselves, so we can come out on top just by doing the little things."

Keeping with the team concept, Rucker knows none of what he accomplishes with the ball in his hands would be possible without the offensive line in front of him. And the fact that his playing days with the unit began years ago in area youth leagues only makes their bond more special.

"The offensive line that I play behind has been the same since PeeWee," Rucker said. "And we’ve always had chemistry — all the running backs and the offensive line. I love ’em to death."

Friends to Follow social media