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Ben Lippen High School
Columbia

Wright Leading Ben Lippen In Rushing Since Switching Positions

By Chris Dearing

Special Contributor

Columbia-- Ben Lippen (5-2) coach Derek White has had one mainstay in a season that has seen the Falcons suffer many injuries on both sides of the football.

The Falcons are coming off a hard fought 26-23 win over Laurence Manning Academy last week.

Senior running back Kyle Wright has rushed for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns in just five games. Wright didn’t play offense in the Falcons season opening loss to University Christian out of Florida but has been on a tear ever since.

“The one thing about Kyle that I don’t think people realize is he’s 6-2, 230 pounds but extremely fast,” said Coach White. “Even the times he gets bottled up, teams get tired of tackling him in the second half. I don’t have the numbers right in front of me but I bet he’s had over 10 runs of 70 yards or more this season.”

Wright, along with quarterback Trad Beatty, has committed to Temple. Beatty has missed time with an injured shoulder and White had to play a few games without starters on the offensive and defensive lines. But White said the Falcons might be as healthy now as they’ve been at any point of the season.

“We’re getting close and the ultimate goal is to be at 100 percent healthy by the time November gets here,” White said. “We’ve had some minor shoulder and ankle injuries but we’re getting those guys back in the mix now. We need to get fundamentally better and work on our scheme some but I like where we are right now.”

Trey Norman is the leading receiver with 24 catches and 404 yards.

Defensively, Ben Lippen is led by Tyrique Brown (69 tackles, four sacks), Cole Burns (60 tackles) and Manning Turbeviile (seven interceptions).

White likes that fact that the defending state champion Falcons have been able to play so many people early in the season. That builds depth for the playoffs.

The other factor White has been able to enjoy is nobody has had to play both ways out of necessity. Wright played linebacker in the opener but since moving to running back in week two, he hasn’t stepped foot on defense.

But with the temperatures cooling and the games getting more important as teams push to make a playoff run, White could see guys starting to go both ways more often.

“We’ve built a tremendous amount of depth this first half of the season,” White said. “That’s only going to help us down the stretch. But when the playoffs start, you aren’t guaranteed of playing the next week. We will put our best 11 on the field on each side of the ball and let them play. But the good thing is because we’ve built this depth, we will have quality and experienced guys to go in and replace them if and when needed.” 

 

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