Last weekend was a good time to carry the football.Six different area running backs went for over 100 yards.

That included Lampasas’ three-headed monster (Justin Maldonado, Secody Howard and Marcus Kehoe) and two of Killeen’s “Monster Mash” (Victor Scott and William Mathews). Others to reach the century mark were Copperas Cove’s Brandon Hamilton (141 yards against Belton) and Salado’s Ryan Simmons (105 against West).

And don’t forget Harker Heights’ Marvin Jackson (98 yards last week) and Shoemaker’s Johnny Jefferson (97).

Three of those backs — Hamilton, Maldonado and Scott — were in the running for the Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 18-24.

But it was another back who carried just once — Salado’s Peyton Best — who claimed the honor. Best was the beneficiary of an intense voting race that saw the totals multiply by the hundreds day after day.

“I think the minute I was up for the nomination, my family just instantly went beserk on it,” Best said. “And I think my grandma stayed up late two nights just voting.”

In the end Best and the Salado Eagle following held off Maldonado and Scott after the 4,091 total votes were tallied. Best finished with 1,543 votes, good enough for 38 percent of the vote.

Scott made a it fight until the end Thursday afternoon, as the senior finished with 1,482 votes — just 61 behind behind Best.

“It just seems like the whole school got into it,” Best said. “It was pretty intense — I wasn’t too worried about it until (Wednesday) and (Thursday). Now that’s it over, everybody can sleep.”

Best’s honor is well deserved, despite his getting just one rushing attempt in Salado’s 56-2 blowout over West. The senior scored five touchdowns and combined for 194 yards of total offense — Best accounted for nearly half of Salado’s offense and had 19 more yards than West did as a team.

He had receiving touchdowns of 20, 27 and 33 in the first half and added a 13-yard score on his only carry. Best made it five touchdowns with an 81-yard punt return that put Salado up 49-0 in the third quarter.

“After my third touchdown, I kind of realized how much I was doing,” said Best, who never had more than two scores in a game before last week. “Once, I got to three, I thought, ‘Wow, I’ve never scored three touchdowns before.’”

Salado coach Glen Talbott said: “He just made a play time and time again. He really enjoys doing what he’s doing and just embraces his role.”

Scott was Killeen’s top man last week in a backfield that also includes Mathews and Naaman Young, the Roos’ first 100-yard rusher this season.

In addition to a 26-yard touchdown catch, Scott average 9.2 yards per carry in finishing with 119 in Killeen’s 58-12 win over Del Valle.

Maldonado was the last of Lampasas’ trio to reach the century mark, with his 179 yards against San Angelo Lake View giving the Badgers three of the top seven rushers in District 25-3A going into the off week.

The senior averaged more than 11 yards per attempt and scored two touchdowns.

Hamilton posted his third 100-yard game this seaon (he finished with 99 against Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon). He had 100 yards in a big third quarter and scored two of his three touchdowns as Cove pulled away from Belton.


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