Petal's Darren Ross named Academy's Player of the Week

Just because the spread offense is dominating all levels of football, that doesn't mean a running game has gone the way of the wishbone.

Case in point, Petal running back Darren Ross.

"It was really fun to run it because it was a wide open hole and that was my chance to score my first touchdown for varsity," said Ross about his 53-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of his team's 48-44 win against rival Hattiesburg.

It was one of many that set the tone for the type of night Ross had in store for the Tigers defense.

"A little more speed than I'm used to seeing out of him," said Petal head coach Marcus Boyles.

"He hit that hole and hit the sideline and outran some really good athletes on Hattiesburg's side."

In his first start for the Petal Panthers at running back, the junior finished the night with 190 yards on the ground and five touchdowns.

"[The] offensive line did a great job and he ran extremely hard. I think around 30 carries on offense and a bunch of other snaps on defense," said Boyles. "He's just a great conditioned athlete." 

Not one to brag, Ross is well aware of the players up front that created those running lanes.

"They [were] doing the best they can, making better holes for me and blocking whoever they can that [came] up. I congratulate them for opening that hole for me to score touchdowns that whole night."

The honor of having yet another player of the week for the Panthers is not lost on coach Boyles.

"It's a lot of pride. When we get recognized for our achievements on the field and in the classroom, we're really proud of that and we really appreciate Academy doing that for us."