His story: Daylon Tarkington is a two-way player who sees the field a lot as a running back and linebacker. He transferred to Trimble Tech his sophomore year, but was forced to play JV football because of a paperwork issue. In 2012, as a junior, he broke a leg in the second game of the season and missed the remainder of the year. On Friday night in a 29-27 victory against Dallas White, he gained 220 yards on 23 carries with four touchdowns including a 56-yard burst with 4.5 seconds left to win the game.
His goal: Tarkington would like to reach 1,500 yards rushing this season and 150 tackles defensively.
He said: Its my senior year, so I knew no matter what I had to go out and ball. [On the scoring play] I looked at coach Henry and said, You really want me to run a running play? Im tired. He said, Were doing a running play and youre getting the ball. So I went out there, but in my mind I was thinking, I cant even run. But then when I got the ball I just felt like everybody the whole team was blocking for me. So when I got so far I just got another burst of energy and my whole body just took off. I cut back up the field and thought, Ive got to put it in the end zone. I was happy but I was so tired I couldnt even think right.
Coach Dwayne Henry said: Hes a leader on and off the field. We want to see him actually lead the team to victories. Hes a key part of our offense. We have to utilize him wisely; we dont want to overwork him in any aspect of the game. Hes a vital part of the offense and defense. Offensively, we are looking to get the ball into his hands at least 20 times per game. We have a backup for him on defense, so we can spell him defensively. I think this year he feels he has something to prove. He lost a whole year, basically, and hes just trying to make up for it. The motivating factor for him this year is to make up for last year. That [scoring play] was something special he turned in. There was about 24 seconds on the clock and we just wanted a running play to get us to overtime. I said, lets just run the ball out. I told the offensive coordinator to put the ball in Daylons hands. He broke at least four of five tackles, carrying guys into the end zone on at least a 50-yard run. After he got past the line of scrimmage it was all determination and effort. It was one of the best runs Ive seen in my career of coaching football.
Interesting note: Henry says offense is Tarkingtons most effective position, but Tarkington says, I really like defense more. Id rather hit somebody than get hit. But Im going to do whatever for the team.
Special to the Star-Telegram
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