Player of the Week: Columbia DB/RB Amarion Fortenberry

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 12:00 AM CST
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COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - Trailing for the first time all season during Friday’s playoff opener, Columbia needed lift.

Up stepped Amarion Fortenberry – like so many times before – returning the opening second-half kickoff 95 yards to the house to kickstart the Wildcats comeback win over Morton.

“Our coach always tells us don’t hit the panic button,” Fortenberry said.

“The bigger the moment, Amarion’s kinda stepped up to shine,” said Columbia head coach Chip Bilderback.

The senior added 241 yards rushing and three scores and, of course, made his presence known defensively at cornerback.

“It’s fun for me,” Fortenberry said. “Offense, defense, special teams. I just like doing whatever it takes for the team to win. Right now, we’re on the road to Oxford so, we’re just trying to do whatever it takes.”

“I think the one thing everyone sees is talent, fast, toughness,” Bilderback said. “He’s very physical, plays the game the right way. But it’s so much deeper than that. Amarion’s a great kid that works extremely hard that loves Columbia football and he’s a great teammate.”

Fortenberry is a playmaker in all three phases but will likely play cornerback at the next level, holding offers from South Alabama and Ole Miss.

“I’m gonna miss it a little bit, scoring the touchdowns, celebrating with the O-lineman,” Fortenberry said. “Without them, I can’t score touchdowns. I’ll really miss that part. But I mostly like being physical on defense, staying in coverage and defending touchdowns.”

Before Fortenberry signs a letter of intent, he’s committed to helping Columbia win a state championship for the first time since 2021.

“Play our brand of football,” Fortenberry said. “Be physical, disciplined, focused.”

“When you kick off at 7:00, you just gotta play lights out for 48 minutes,” Bilderback said. “Play as hard as you can for 48 minutes to get a whole ‘nother 48.”

The Wildcats (11-0) host Greene County (4-6) in a second-round playoff game on Friday at 7 p.m.

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