The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports

October 15, 2013

Paving the way

(Continued)

"Once he gets about 10 yards downfield, if you're not supposed to be down there with him, it's a chance to watch him run," Duncan said. "It's amazing. It seems like ESPN."

Amazing is a word often heard around Mireles. Crazy is another. He does things on the football field at times that are difficult to describe.

Like bouncing off a free defender, knocking him to the ground and running 15 yards in the opposite direction. Or zig-zagging across the field as many as four times in each direction before bursting through a hole only he can see and running toward the end zone. Or stopping on a dime to let a defender pass, then making one cut and becoming a blur somewhere in the distant horizon.

"He really never stops, even when the odds are against him," Jackson said. "He just steps up and does his job."

Ferguson has been lining up in front of Mireles for three seasons, the longest-tenured of the linemen. He said the most amazing performance he's seen came two years ago when the then-sophomore running back amassed a school-record 429 yards at Oak Hill.

"It seemed like every play was going for a touchdown," he said.

But the linemen all agree the best is yet to come.

"We will play deep into November," Duncan said, referencing the Panthers' goal of winning the school's first secitonal title since 2000. "I expect at some point, in one of those games, the greatest moment will happen."

A pretty big one might await Friday night.

There's a great sense of pride within the program that one of their own is so close to a record so prestigious. And when that mark falls — whether it happens this week at Alexandria or next week in the first round of the sectional — it's a moment that will linger.

"We're going to carry this with us for the rest of our life," Ferguson said. "I can tell my kids I blocked for the state's leading rusher."

 

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