St. Joseph Central pounds Ruskin
By Chris Schoonover The St. Joseph News-Press
Israel Smith has run for a lot of yards this season en route to showing that he’s a premier back in the area.
In Central’s 51-21 route of Ruskin at Noyes Field, the junior running back passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
Smith passed the milestone on a 12-yard run early in the first quarter. The run — which is considered a short run for the explosive back – was just a small portion of the 156 yards he put up for the game.
“It’s a lot of hard work in the offseason,” Smith said. “My team picked me up. I told myself I’m running this year for my team instead of myself. It’s a lot of hard work and determination.
“During the spring and summer, it was just countless hours of grinding every day. It’s just about how bad you want it, and I wanted it really bad.”
Smith ran for just 1,070 yards last year in 10 games on 230 carries. This year, he passed the mark in 114 carries.
“In this conference, that’s doing something,” Central coach Jeff Wallace said. “Week-in and week-out with maybe the exception of tonight, it’s tough sledding. He’s a great back and he’s got a pretty good offensive line sitting in front of him.
“We knew he could have been a real good back. The injuries and things we had, anything can happen.”
The physicality of Central (2-5) was too much for Ruskin (0-7) and it showed on the first play from scrimmage after Eagles quarterback Mark Anthony Robins was stripped in the end zone.
Trysten Nickel jumped on the loose ball, giving the Indians a 7-0 lead after the field goal.
After a pick by Lawrence Wulu, quarterback Jacob Hess found Demasjiay Cruse on for a 15-yard touchdown.
Hess finished the day 7-for-10 for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
After being hung up in the backfield on an end around, Cade Musser cut back across the heart of the defense and scored on a 46-yard run to go up 21-0.
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