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Huggins emerges as lead back

Eastside ran over Hampton on Friday with its 47-14 win. Carlos Huggins ran for two touchdowns and the Eagles’ defense was making plays all over the field, including some huge hits against Hampton. The defense also recovered at least four fumbles, and took advantage of Hampton’s giveaways.

When the season began Carlos Huggins was probably third on Eastside’s running backs depth chart behind Eric Stokes and Andrew Henderson – which may have had something to do with Huggins being one of the Eagles better linebackers – but that’s the not the case anymore.

Stokes started off the season strong in fact, he scored on a 60-plus yard run on the third play from scrimmage against Alcovy in the season opener. Henderson was the closest back to Stokes, as Henderson is especially useful in the passing game. Then they both got injured and Huggins stepped in and he hasn’t looked back since.

Huggins is the lead back for Eastside’s running game now and he showed why against Hampton on Friday. Hampton isn’t a powerhouse like Griffin, in fact they’re probably similar to a shack smaller than an outhouse in terms of skill. So, to say Huggins showed out against a team like Hampton is like saying Todd Gurley ran over Georgia State, some things you just know should happen.

It’s not the numbers Huggins put up. It’s the way he ran the ball and how much he’s grown over the weeks to usurp the No. 1 spot at running back. Huggins is a ferociously fearless runner, but he’s quick and yet he’s not afraid to put his head down and run you over. Huggins is a complete back in all facets and he showed that a few times against Hampton.

“I told him before the game he’s at a different level right now. He’s in a different area as far as our guys are concerned. He’s probably one of the most focused players out here right now and he’s playing well. Overall he’s playing as well as anybody we got,” Eagles’ head coach Rick Hurst said after Huggins performance against Hampton.

On Huggins 40-plus yard touchdown run in the first quarter he exploded through the hole and quickly made a cut, then another before speeding past Hampton’s secondary like he was Wally West or Barry Allen.

The Eagles are eight games into the season and Huggins is nearing the double digit touchdown mark, has over 400 yards rushing and was averaging 7.1 yards per carry going into the game against Hampton. Stokes and Henderson each have less than 200 yards on the season and Huggins has more rushing touchdowns than they do combined.

It seems Huggins will finish the season as the lead back and his leadership and running style should benefit Stokes greatly, as he is just a sophomore and Huggins is a senior.