FAIRMONT — oooooo
North Marion head coach Daran Hays wanted his team to establish a successful run game all season. Generally to do that, you need to have more than one back shoulder the load.
Insert junior running back Austin Stanley.
North Marion’s leading rusher, Ryan Elliott, carried the weight for most of the season, but Stanley stepped up at opportune times for the Huskies.
“He was the back this year that I thought he could have been last year,” Hays said. “He saw where Ryan was in terms of success and saw his power, so he started to learn to lower his shoulder and get what you can get.”
Stanley had a few standout performances of the season, including a 12-carry, 193-yard performance in which he scored two touchdowns to overcome East Fairmont about midway through the season.
“On paper, people don’t see what all he overcame that game,” said Hays. “He was hurt in the locker room and sick and doctors said he shouldn’t go back out. But he did. So he put up those numbers in about 2 1/2, three quarters.”
Stanley also had an outstanding game to close out the season, previewing possibly what North Marion could expect from him next season. The 5-foot-5, 151-pound junior back ran for 109 yards and three scores against Grafton to finish the year.
“I think now that he has the power element he can be great,” Hays said. “He has good vision and breakaway speed, not exceptionally great speed, but he can turn a 20-yard play into a 40- or 50-yard play now.”
Both East and North’s seasons are over while Fairmont Senior heads into the playoffs, but each team has a little something to look forward to next year after this season.
Email Matt Welch at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.