There may have been some concern amongst the ranks of Statesboro fans when they learned that running back Quan Daniels was out of action with an injury last week.
Things had to have been even more tense when fellow running back Michael Summers left the game with an injury and didn’t return after Statesboro’s first possession.
But there was no panic to be seen from the Blue Devils, who easily blew past Effingham County 34-7 on the shoulders of some clutch efforts from their back-up ball carriers. Sherrodric Rawls carried the ball 10 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns while Willie Johnson got 12 carries for 106 yards and found the end zone on three separate occasions.
For a team that entered the season with some doubt about its depth at running back after its two stars in Daniels and Summers, the No. 5 Devils liked what they got out of the back end of the depth chart when they needed it.
"With this sort of offense, you need a covey of good running backs," said SHS coach Steve Pennington. "I think that seeing Sherrodric and Willie and Diquan Brunson play well gives everyone on this team a lot of confidence."
Seeing the understudies shine is always a good sign, but even more comforting for Statesboro is the fact that Daniels and Summers both appear to be on the road back to action.
Daniels participated in practice Monday and Tuesday and will continue to move forward towards playing unless his high ankle sprain gives him more problems. Summers was feared to have a concussion after taking an awkward shot in the first quarter Friday. As the Devils quickly took control of the game, Summers was kept out for precautionary measures and is expected to be back at full strength this week as Statesboro hosts South Effingham in a battle that will leave the winner as the front runner to clinch a sub-region title.
"Mike should be just fine," said Pennington. "As for Dequan, we’ll just have to see how things go. It all depends on how well he can practice on it throughout the week."
Pennington added that the stellar play of Rawls and Johnson are also a nice safety net to have if Daniels needs another week of rest.
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.