SCOTT — Over the years, Acadiana High School coach Ted Davidson has had many starting running backs lead the veer attack on the way to state finals appearances and championships.
Names like Alley Broussard, John Dean and Micah Eugene have all been key components to the Wreckin’ Rams perennial success over the past 10 years.
This season, a new crop of running backs has led the Rams to another 5A state finals trip. Donovin Soloman and Eric Duhon handle a lot of carries, but the leading rusher for this year’s team is senior Malik Eugene.
“He is very explosive,” coach Ted Davidson said of Eugene. “Once he turns it, he can blow through a hole very quickly. Once he is in the secondary, nobody can even come close to running him down.”
Earlier in the year, Eugene had a little trouble fumbling the football, forcing Davidson to ride his other two backs for the bulk of the workload. Davidson said Eugene just needed to correct his fundamentals, something Eugene worked hard to do.
“He had a few ball security issues early that limited some of his carries,” Davidson said. “When he runs hard, he is a wild runner. His arms and legs are going all over the place and flailing. The ball would be away from his body a lot. He had to work on basic running technique. We just had to get that tightened up.”
Eugene also doubles as a defensive back for the Rams. He has committed to Tulane as a defensive back and Davidson said Eugene’s skills in the defensive backfield are outstanding.
“We are using him a lot as a nickel and (weakside)-type linebacker where we can blitz him off the edge,” Davidson said. “He is very explosive and he is a good man cover guy.
“He is playing both sides of the ball right now and we use him in crucial spots offensively and in certain situations.”
Malik’s brother, Micah, was a standout running back for the Rams, much like Malik. Davidson said he hopes that family continues to produce standouts for the Wreckin’ Rams.
“Micah was a great player for us,” Davidson said. “He was MVP when we beat West Monroe in 2010. Malik is a great player for us now; it is a pretty good bloodline.”