September 9, 2009 7:56:00 AM
Landon Ellis was a little embarrassed.
The Victory Christian junior was enjoying one of the best games of his career Friday night against New Life Academy, but he felt bad his teammates weren''t getting in on the fun.
Ellis rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns, returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Parker Eaves to help the Eagles improve to 2-0.
For his accomplishments, Ellis is The Commercial Dispatch Prep Player of the Week.
"I didn''t want the ball any more toward the end," Ellis said. "I started feeling bad for everybody else. It felt good to have the ball that much, but I started feeling bad."
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back used his speed to score on rushes of 65, 59, and 24 yards. He also caught a 49-yard pass from Eaves and returned interceptions 29 and 40 yards for scores.
Ellis credited his teammates for putting him in position on both sides of the ball to make plays.
He admitted to thinking about breaking his personal high for touchdowns in the first quarter and again at halftime when he had four touchdowns.
Ellis'' performance is the latest in a number of high-scoring efforts for the Eagles. With Eaves, Daylan Hairston, C.J. Bell, Ben Williams, and Tyler Jones, the Eagles, the defending Christian Football Association champions, have plenty of firepower.
That explosiveness should be put to the test Friday when Victory Christian travels to Gardendale, Ala., to take on Tabernacle Christian.
Victory Christian beat Tabernacle twice last season, including a come-from-behind 70-58 victory in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to cap a 12-0 season.
Ellis said he is just one member of the team who can break out and have a big game.
"It''s good having all of the skills players that we have," Ellis said. "I think I bring speed to the offense. I try to help my teammates out even though I am not a really big defensive player."
Ellis doesn''t consider defense the strong part of his game. Still, Victory Christian coach Chris Hamm said Ellis usually is matched up against the opponent''s top receiver. He said Ellis'' speed helps him make up for times when he might be caught a little out of position.
"On Friday, they were trying some underneath stuff instead of going long," Hamm said. "We got some pressure on their quarterback and he was able to step in front of a couple of passes.
"I had no idea he had six touchdowns."
On offense, Ellis said his field vision has improved and allows him to see everything that is coming. He isn''t sure what he will have to do to top six touchdowns in a game, but he knows one of his teammates might have an opportunity to surpass that mark before he has another game like Friday night.
That''s fine with Ellis, who said he just wants to play any role to help the team win.
"I think we have the potential to win the championship," Ellis said. "We might not be the biggest team, but I think we have the most unity. I feel strongly about our chances to go far."
Hamm said Ellis'' speed gives him the ability to break a game open at any time. He believes Ellis will have plenty of chances to put that skill to use again this season.
"Every time he touches the ball he is trying to score a touchdown," Hamm said. "You think isn''t that the way it normally is? Not always. No matter what the play he is trying to take it to the end zone. He does a good job of avoiding hits, changing field direction, and I do think he sees the field real good."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
1. Insell makes Rebels' NCAA case COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Signs of growth everywhere for MSU in record win COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU softball closes solid weekend in Florida COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU baseball complete another weekend sweep COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Ole Miss begins spring football today COLLEGE SPORTS