Peterson eclipses 1,000-yard mark
Will Peterson deserved this.
A thousand yards rushing in one season.
No one had ever hit the century mark in school history. And everyone who was there wanted Peterson to be the first last Thursday night.
At halftime, water boy Donnie Dalsing checked around to see how many yards Peterson had so far. He needed 120 to reach 1,000, Donnie said.
Peterson is Donnie's hero on the team.
When the Bobcats' tailback would bust a long run or break a tackle this season, Donnie would look on with a gleam in his eye and say, "Will's doing good."
Their bond is special. Peterson is probably the only player on the BLHS team that never yelled at Donnie to hurry up with the water. He's incapable of being mean.
Peterson is the kind of athlete that's tough not to like. He always greets everyone with a handshake and a smile. He's going to be successful in life because of his character and his work ethic, something BLHS coach Steve Hopkins always repeats over and over again when he talks about his senior tailback.
"He has never missed a workout to my knowledge in the two years since I've been hired," Hopkins said. "He's not missed one. If he's been sick, he's been there. If he's been tired, he's been there. If there was ever a day to get better, Will Peterson got better, and that's why it's been such an honor to coach him."
In the early going of last Thursday's game against Piper, Peterson was having his typical terrific performance. He gained a couple of extra yards on every run, and never went down with the first hit. In the first quarter he had 37 yards on seven carries. At halftime, he had 80 yards on 14 carries. Entering the fourth quarter, he was 21 yards shy of 1,000.
As he crept closer and closer to the 1,000-yard mark, up and down the sidelines his teammates kept asking each other about it. "You think he has it yet?"
Once his teammates knew the game was in control, their main goal was to get their main man to 1,000.
After the Bobcats got the ball back with 1:28 left in the game, there was no question who Hopkins was going to give the ball to. But Piper still couldn't stop him, as Peterson got the ball and broke loose for 30 yards. On a seven-yard run with , with 4:23 left in the fourth, Peterson passed 1,000 yards.
But Hopkins didn't know he had already reached 1,000, so he gave him more carries just to make sure.
Peterson finished the game with 167 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown. And after not one of those carries did he get up and talk trash or excessively celebrate. Nope. That's not him.
After every run he handed the ball to the official and helped his opponents up off the ground. He's all class and no flash.
After the game, all Peterson wanted to talk about was Todd Bell scoring his first touchdown and his best friend, Dustin Weimer's interception. He talked about how hard his coaches had worked and how great his line blocked. In fact, he's buying them all dinner for blocking for him all season.
After giving the Bobcat seniors their water one last time at midfield after the game, Donnie jogged off the field with tears in his eyes. His heroes had won their last game and his biggest hero had accomplished something no other Bobcat had ever done before. 1,047 yards.
And he deserved every last one.