Gary Spencer may have entered the season as the No. 2 running back on the Lampasas Badgers (2-3) depth chart, but he proved to be the top cat against the China Spring Cougars on Friday night.
Spencer rushed for 313 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help Lampasas knock China Spring from the ranks of the unbeaten 35-14 at Badger Stadium.
“Playing here at home, he wanted to prove to people that he could do it,” said Lampasas first year coach Brian Emerson after the game. “Everybody’s been nothing but supportive to him and I thought he gave them a reason to be.”
Spencer earned the KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week award. The Badgers have a bye this week, but open District 8-3A play Oct. 11 at home against Gatesville.
Spencer filled in for regular Lampasas starter Steven Jazkyk who has missed time this season with a knee injury.
Prior to Friday’s game, Spencer carried the ball 73 times for 541 yards and a touchdown on the season. The senior is playing the game for only the second season of his career.
In an era when high school teams are incorporating the spread offenses to light up scoreboards, Spencer is fitting in with the Badger’s Wing T offense. He is averaging 8.05 yards per carry and 170 per game. Spencer needs only 146 yards in the next five games to surpass the 1,000 mark.
The running game figured to be a big part of the game since heavy rain came through town an hour before kickoff and left the field muddy.
“It was fun; I’m not going to lie. Can you believe these were white?” Spencer said pointing at his pants after the game.
Spencer’s biggest plays came at a clutch moment. With Lampasas leading 21-7, Spencer carried China Spring defenders during a 35-yard run on the final play of the third quarter. He was able to hold on despite the China Spring defense’s attempts to swipe the ball. Lampasas had fumbled the ball 10 times during its previous two games.
The run set up a Cale Walker 30-yard touchdown run.
“I feel love by this county, the coaches, the staff and the O-Line (offensive line),” Spencer said.
On Lampasas’ next series, Spencer took the ball and converted a 4th and 2 from the Badger 43. The 8-yard run gave the Badgers a new set of downs and Spencer ran for a 49-yard score on the next play.
“At some point during the night they were liable to get hot and we didn’t want it to be at that point,” Emerson said.
The senior ran away with 77 percent of the total votes. Spencer beat out Killeen’s Daniel McCants, who finished second with 22 percent of the votes.
McCants rushed for 276 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Kangaroos to a 42-38 win over Copperas Cove.
Belton’s Brandon Rhoads and Temple’s Jeff Carr rounded out the voting this week.
Rhoads rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns while returning a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown in the Tigers’ 42-38 win over Harker Heights.
Carr ran for 124 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries to help Temple beat Shoemaker 37-27.
Clay Whittington contributed to this report.