On the Field: Junior tailback Jack DeBiase has boosted his Hawks to a strong, 2-0 start—two more wins than Woodland had at this point last season. DeBiase, who became the starting back halfway through the 2008 campaign, after Jon Murren’s injury, has fully assumed the role of the offense’s go-to player, paving the way for fellow offensive weapons Brandon Fowler, Tyler Slapikas, and Steve Petracca. He already leads the Naugatuck Valley League in rushing yards and scoring—and could be headed for more than just those honors.
By the Numbers: DeBiase is at the top of the NVL leaderboard in two categories—rushing yards (330) and touchdowns (seven)—and is second in the league with 40 carries. In week one at Putnam, DeBiase rushed for 172 yards and three scores, the best ground performance for the Hawks since Murren’s 175-yard game on Sept. 12, 2008. The junior followed that up with a 158-yard, four touchdown showing Saturday against Kennedy. Those 330 yards and seven touchdowns in his first two games breaks a Woodland record previously held by all-stater Patryk Krakowski, who ran for 325 yards and scored four times in weeks one and two of the 2004 season. If DeBiase keeps up his current pace, he’ll set both the school’s single-season rushing yard and touchdown records (Krakowski’s 1,503 yards in 2004; Jeff Jones’ 27 TDs in 2005).
In His Own Words: “I owe everything to my boys up front on the line. If they keep doing their jobs, I’m going to keep doing well. They take me wherever I go on the field. They worked very hard in the offseason, and they’re very mobile this year, especially in between the tackles. All I have to do is hold on to the ball. … Last year, I got a little taste of what it was going to be like this year, since I had never really played fullback. But I did well, and in the offseason, I learned my plays and the nooks and crannies of my blocking schemes. I knew I was going to get plenty of carries this year, and Coach [Tim] Shea told me to get ready. I still need to improve on my speed in the open field and breaking out of arm tackles, but if we keep doing what we’re doing and keep the tempo going, we’ll be good.”