His story: Last season as a junior, Isaac Ellsworth was the fourth-team running back and even spent some time on the junior varsity. His major contribution came as a special teams player in the area playoff game against Mansfield, when he forced a fumble on a kickoff that led to a critical Trojans touchdown. Prior to spring practice, he moved to the defensive side of the ball, but due to injuries during the spring, he flipped back to offense. He made a huge impression in his first day in the backfield. He was injured the following day and was injured again ahead of fall camp. Somewhat dismissed by the coaching staff, he defied expectations again and returned to run for 125 yards and two scores on just eight carries in the season opener against Jenks (Okla). He posted 235 yards and two touchdowns against Irving MacArthur in early October, and then played the game of his life in Friday’s 5A Division I regional win over Southlake Carroll, carrying for 244 yards and three touchdowns.
Coach Steve Lineweaver said: “He’s always been undersized. Kind of a cute little fella, you know? Kind of like a little elf or something. We always knew he had great speed. As a junior last year he was on the district champion sprint relay. We felt like we needed some guys in our defensive backfield. I think he came to us in February and said, ‘Coach, what do you think about trying me at defensive back?’ I said, ‘Sure, let’s try it.’ And he was pretty good. Then, we started spring training and we had some illnesses and injuries and were shorthanded. I didn’t want to see-saw Isaac back and forth from offense to defense, but he came to me and said, ‘Coach, I think I can help us on offense.’ We tried it, and he was just a different level of speed.”
He said: “Our starting running back, Kenneth Gonzales was hurt, so coach really needed someone to step up and I was just kind of next in line. They gave me the opportunity in the [Jenks] game and I was able to seize the opportunity and break off a couple of runs. I wasn’t assuming more playing time, but I felt like now they had the confidence in me that I was able to play my first real varsity game and not get overwhelmed by the pressure and just have fun.”
“God blessed me with vision. He gave me eyes to see the whole field. I can kind of like slow things down so that when I see a hole, I know it’s there and just burst through it to give me an advantage. You have to know when to really burst and I just turn on that second gear late in the run. Coach Lineweaver coaches how to really read your blocks, read the hole and follow your lineman, and I’m working on perfecting that.”
“I’ll be honest I’m still not really over [the Southlake Carroll game] … that was by far the greatest game I’ve ever played in my life and I just thank my teammates, coaches and God. It was a blast. I’ll never forget that day.”
His goals: Ellsworth would like to play football at the next level and hopes to eventually end up coaching.
Interesting note: Isaac’s brother, Michael Ellsworth, won a state title with Trinity as a fullback in 2007.
Special to the Star-Telegram Ste
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