High School Sports

Destin Mack, other running backs key area teams to successful seasons

Destin Mack and the Tattnall Square Trojans are 7-0.
Destin Mack and the Tattnall Square Trojans are 7-0. jvorhees@macon.com

Destin Mack has waited a long time to be the main offensive weapon in the Tattnall Square running game.

Last year as a junior, he started on defense and also got opportunities as a running back, but he mostly watched Ahmad Barron and his 1,700 rushing yards lead the Trojans to a deep playoff run.

With Barron, Vasco Sanders, Zion Blasingame and Jimmy Marshall all now playing college football, the offense is squarely on Mack’s shoulders, and he has responded with 866 yards and 21 touchdowns in seven games. The Trojans are 7-0 as they enter their home game with FPD on Friday.

“Destin has been up to the challenge that we put on him this year, and we are very thankful as a football team for that,” Tattnall Square head coach Chance Jones said. “The great thing about it is he is putting up huge numbers but has only had to carry the ball about 11 times a game with a high of 15. We feel like he is rested even though he goes both ways, and I am sure as the schedule gets tougher, his number of carries will probably increase.”

Mack had a full understanding heading into this year of what would be expected of him.

“I knew I had to wait my chance because we had some great players ahead of me,” said Mack, who is a solid 190 pounds and is starting to gain interest from mid- level Division I programs. “Ahmad would keep me after practice to work on things, and he told me that I just had to be patient, and he was right. This year has been a lot of fun for me, but I just really try and take advantage of what my offensive line gives me. They have done a tremendous job of opening up some holes for me.”

Mack also knows that the biggest tests are ahead of him with the Trojans playing Stratford next week.

“We have played some tough teams but we know that FPD and Stratford the next two weeks will be huge for us,” Mack said. “I think there is mutual respect between the schools but also a mutual dislike, and we obviously want to beat each other. I am just excited to see what we can do against them.”

Stratford and Mount de Sales are both having strong seasons, and much of that has to with their running games. Stratford has Deondre Duehart with 698 yards, and he is followed closely by Tyler Jordan with 633 yards ,and the two have combined for 20 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Mount de Sales is poised to make the GHSA Class 1A private school playoffs between the tandem of Adrian Hardwick and Josiah Cotton, who both have more than 600 yards in rushing yards.

Several other running backs have great chances to have 1,000-yard seasons. Drake Bolus from Jones County has 778 yards, while Westside’s LaKelvin Clark has 737 yards, and Howard’s Jeremiah Kelly has 705 yards. Chris Gibson from Peach County has put up huge numbers as a runner and receiver. He has 643 yards rushing and 206 yards receiving to go with a combined 19 touchdowns.

“Adrian and Josiah complement each other well and give us great versatility on offense,” said Mount de Sales head coach Keith Hatcher, whose team is ranked 15th in the most recent Class 1A private school power rankings. “Adrian is a shifty back that gives us a perimeter threat, and Josiah is very strong between the tackles. They have served as a very effective one-two punch for us.”