POTTSGROVE >> Pottsgrove head coach Rick Pennypacker has seen plenty of great running backs don the burgundy uniform the past 28 seasons.
None, however, compare to the one he has in the backfield now: Rahsul Faison.
“Rahsul is one of the quickest and toughest runners that we’ve had,” Pennypacker said of Faison, an Archbishop Carroll transfer. “He’s not only quick, fast, has good vision and has good feet but he also sticks up in there pretty hard. We haven’t had one like that in a while.
“We had some great running backs, but we haven’t had one with all the skill he has now. We had (Brent) Steinmetz, we had (Brent) Carter, (Maika) Polamalu, but this kid here has a little bit of everything. I think he has a great future ahead of him.”
Big words from the storied head coach, but his assertion has easily been backed the first two weeks.
Faison, who sat out Week 1’s 18-13 loss to West Catholic, has rushed for 499 yards and six touchdowns in the past two games, both wins for Pottsgrove (2-1 overall). Faison has averaged 11.3 yards per carry and his mark is 126 yards more than the next leading ball carrier in the PAC (Phoenixville’s Matt Garcia enters Week 4 with 373 rushing yards through three games).
“Sitting out that first week, that was tough,” Faison said. “I definitely wish I could have been out there but I bounced back Week 2 against Methacton. It really motivated me to do more, I knew I had to catch back up and get my team going again.
“I have to thank my linemen, they have been giving me a lot of holes and I’ve been just getting what the defense has been giving me.”
Faison has taken advantage of the run-heavy Pottsgrove offense, his 22 carries per game second to only Garcia. At 6-0, 180lb without a trace of body fat on him, the junior can surely carry the workload, one he didn’t necessarily get at Archbishop Carroll.
“I get a lot more carries here,” Faison said. “I think it’s a better fit for me because I like running from the backfield (instead of the shotgun from Carroll’s spread attack). It’s fun, it’s definitely fun. I’ve been succeeding so far.”
Faison and the Falcons face another stiff test in Glen Mills, which is led by 233-pound tailback Quadir Gibson. The Battlin’ Bulls (1-2 overall) are coming off a 42-26 victory over previously undefeated Great Valley last Friday. Gibson ran for a career-high 176 yards as the team racked up 350 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Gibson ranks fourth in the ‘Daily Times’ leaderboard with 312 yards. Slowing him down will be key.
“(Glen Mills is a) physical, big, physical football team,” Pennypacker said. “We’re going to have our hands full with him.
“We just need to do what coach (Pennypacker) says,” Faison said. “I have a lot of confidence in my team that we’ll come out and do what our coach wants. We just need to block well and fly to the ball.”
For previews from the rest of the games around the Mercury’s coverage-area this weekend, click here.
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