Rushing Kings: Davis, Barlow, Guidry to battle for district supremacy
Every time a running back gets the ball and heads towards the line there is that split-second to make a decision.
Cut right, cut left, follow your blocker to the outside or power forward and stay inside.
It really becomes an art when executed with perfect timing. The art of playing running back becomes a player's craft, one that they want to hone to perfection with the right combination of power and speed.
Take for instance Nimitz's Jayvon Davis, Aldine Davis' DeMarcus Barlow Jr. and Eisenhower's Sevan Guidry. All three running backs. All three are coming back for their junior and senior seasons, respectively, and are the leading rushers from District 16-6A a year ago that are returning.
"It was fun competition, that's what I like the most," Guidry said. "It's like 'oh he had 100 yards', that means I need to produce as much. It makes me want to work harder to be at the top."
If there was a "rushing title" to hand out, it would have gone to the shifty sophomore Davis in 2018.
The 5-foot-5 back, busted loose for 1,811 yards, averaged 10.23 yards per carry and scored 22 touchdowns to lead District 16-6A rushers in all three categories.
"Speed and heart, most definitely," Barlow said about Davis. "He's kind of little but he can maneuver through the line and through traffic."
Guidry remembers Davis from their first meeting when he made one cut and was gone for a score. Turn on his film and you'll see a lot of one cut and run away from the defense kind of highlights.
Davis, who likes the running style of Marshawn Lynch, has worked on getting stronger and faster for this season.
"I'm getting more yards this year," Davis – the reigning District 16-6A Offensive MVP – said. "I don't have a number. I'm just going to go as far as I can."
As far as guys coming back, Guidry ranks as the next best back.
The now-senior finished with 1,038 yards last season, which ranked fourth in the district behind Aldine's Jacorey Howard and Spring's Clifton McDowell, who both graduated.
"It makes me want to work harder," Guidry said. "I want to be at the top. Why not? Why be second, third or fourth? Why not be No. 1?"
Turning on Guidry's film, the first play shows off his true brute strength.
The first-team, all-district selection is seen running into the middle of the defense and being swallowed by the entire line. What should have just been a one-yard gain turned into a 50-yard, tackle-shedding touchdown run.
"He can find the hole and run outside and inside," Barlow said. "He's a power back. He can run through people and is hard to tackle."
Guidry's power is shown time and time again, which Davis recognizes calling him "powerful and shifty".
When looking back on the stats of a previous season, Guidry said it's fun to compare "who got who."
"I like the scoring," Guidry said about why he likes playing running back. "The touchdowns and finishing a run when your team needs that one, two or three yards. I like to do it for the team. I like to satisfy people."
Finally, the District 16-6A Newcomer of the Year returns with a clear goal in mind – eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. In the regular season, Barlow finished with 998 yards.
"I've been working hard in the offseason," Barlow said. "I'm just going to push harder and get over 1,000." |
What makes Barlow unique is that he also played quarterback for Aldine Davis last year. Some of the plays were designed "Wild Falcon" formations. Other instances he threw the ball – passing for 464 yards and a score.
"He's versatile," Guidry said. "I like him because he doesn't just play running back. He can produce at other positions. When he does run, he finishes with a force."
"I'd call him a power back," Davis added. "That's it. He's powerful."
Barlow, who revere's New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, said he is going to "fight harder" to get to the mark he wants to reach.
"I've been working on my speed and my explosiveness," Barlow said. "Being able to break tackles and explode out of the tackle."
So, who will be the rushing king in 2019? All three will vie for it. Even though they won't talk about it during the season, at the end of the year there will be bragging rights to claim.
"At the end of the year, most definitely," Barlow said with a smile. "It's fun knowing that you were in the top three."