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Thomas Sumter's Allen runs his way to Offensive Player of the Week honor

By DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 9/24/19

The Thomas Sumter Academy football team has things clicking on offense on Friday against Charleston Collegiate.

So Ayden Allen ran with it, literally.

The General running back ran for 294 yards and scored all four of TSA's touchdowns as it won …

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Thomas Sumter's Allen runs his way to Offensive Player of the Week honor

Posted

The Thomas Sumter Academy football team has things clicking on offense on Friday against Charleston Collegiate.

So Ayden Allen ran with it, literally.

The General running back ran for 294 yards and scored all four of TSA's touchdowns as it won 27-26 for its first victory of the season.

"It was just one of those times where we were in a flow," Allen said. "Everyone was doing their jobs correctly, especially the offensive line. We were executing really well."

Because of his success, Allen has been selected as The Sumter Item Offensive Player of the Week.

Allen is joined by Scott's Branch High School right tackle Darrius Green as the Offensive Lineman, Sumter High School kicker Dyson Roberts as the Special Teams Player and C.E. Murray free safety Dejuan Reid as the Defensive Player.

Players are selected based on nominations from local high school coaches. Selections are made by The Sumter Item.

The quartet will be honored at the weekly breakfast meeting of the Sumter Touchdown Club presented by FTC on Friday beginning at 7:15 a.m. The meeting takes place at the University of South Carolina Sumter's Arts & Letters Building.

Longtime South Carolina head coach Buddy Pough will be the guest speaker.

OFFENSE -- AYDEN ALLEN THOMAS SUMTER

Allen was picking up yardage in big chunks as he averaged 10.5 yards a carry on 28 carries. His longest touchdown run was a 70-yarder.

"Ayden ran the ball really well for us," said TSA head coach Randy Stogner, whose team improved to 1-4 on the season. "We also did a better job of blocking for him as well. We changed things up a bit in the second half, going back to some of the things we did last year in the Wing-T, and we did really good."

It was the first time Thomas Sumter had run the Wing-T this year, according to Allen.

"We've worked on it at practice, so we weren't surprised when we went to it," Allen said. "The Wing-T is where I was most effective."

Allen returned a kickoff 15 yards to finish with 309 all-purpose yards. Defensively, he had three solo stops and three assists.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - DARRIUS GREEN SCOTT'S BRANCH

Green graded out at 88 percent and had three knockdown blocks in the Eagles' 34-16 victory over Military Magnet. Scott's Branch rushed for 322 yards in picking up its first win of the season.

"It felt really good to go out there and dominate like we did," said Green, whose team is now 1-4. "It shows us that the system (head coach Leonard Johnson's run-heavy Hammer offense) can work for us. We just have to continue to go out there and execute it.

Johnson said Green has been a solid performer on the offensive front this season.

"Darrius has been one of our steadiest performers on the offensive line," Johnson said. "I really think the light came on for him the other night, not only for himself but in helping with the guidance of the other linemen and their blocking assignments."

SPECIAL TEAMS - DYSON ROBERTS SUMTER

Roberts handles all of the kicking chores for Sumter, and when you're putting up points like the Gamecocks have, a kicker can be pretty busy.

In 4-0 SHS' 40-0 victory over Northwestern, Roberts was successful with his first two field goal attempts of the season - starting with a 42-yarder, followed by a 30-yarder - was 5-for-5 on extra point attempts and averaged 56 yards on eight kickoffs from the Sumter 40-yard line. Two of them were touchbacks. He also averaged 35 yards on two punts.

"The longer I've coached the more I understand how important special teams are," said Sumter head coach Mark Barnes. "We place a lot of importance on that, and having someone like Dyson is good for us.

"He hadn't kicked a field goal for us this year, and the first one is a 42-yarder. He hit it straight down the middle with plenty to spare. That gave him confidence with the next one, which was straight down the middle too."

Roberts said he doesn't overthink things, especially when it comes to field goals.

"You've got to do this in college; you've got to make it," Roberts said. "How you do (with field goals) can come down to whether you win or lose. It can make a big difference for the team, so you just go out and do your job."

DEFENSE - DEJUAN REID C.E. MURRAY

Reid had nine footballs thrown his way in C.E. Murray's 53-0 victory over Lake Marion - two as a free safety and seven as a wide receiver.

"I caught all of them," Reid said. And that made for a very, very special game.

Reid had two interceptions and recovered a fumble on defense to go with one tackle. He caught seven passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns.

"He just had an unbelievable game on both sides of the ball," said Eagles head coach Brian Smith, who said the only incompletion thrown by quarterback Antonio McKnight went to another player. "Defensively, he was in the right place, where he was supposed to be on both interceptions. On the fumble, he was the only one who saw the ball loose."

Reid credited his defensive coordinator for him coming up with the three turnovers.

"He put me in a place to come up with those types of plays," Reid said. "On the fumble, I saw one of my teammates go in and strip it, and it came right to me."