HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, IN PREPS

A Tale of Two Backs

Columbus, Indiana is the home of two very good football programs with a rich history of winning and producing college prospects, year in and year out. Columbus East owns 2 Indiana Mr. Football award winners, and both schools have had past Mr. Football position award winners.

Next in line for the two programs are class of 2021 running backs Mark McDonald (East) and Blake Huffman (North), respectively. McDonald is your prototypical running back in terms of size, speed and strength. Listed at 5’11 and 195 pounds, McDonald is an elusive runner with enough ‘shake’ to make defenders miss. In a blink, he can house it. He can display his power when necessary to go along with his homerun abililty. Against perennial Ohio power Pickerington Central, McDonald tallied 80 yards on 20 carries and 2 touchdowns, while gaining 94 yards on 16 rushes, and reaching the endzone against Indiana power Center Grove.

Blake Huffman is your ‘do-it-all’ type of running back that can play every down. A phenomenal pass catcher out of the backfield to go along with his gritty style of running the football. At 5’7, Huffman is able to hide behind his line and display a good burst once a hole is opened. His smaller frame is deceiving, Huffman packs a big punch in his 5’7 175 pound frame. He is a one-cut, downhill runner with enough speed to outrun his opponents in the open field. Huffman adds another dimension to his game as a dangerous kick and punt returner. In a matchup against a top 5 program in Avon, Huffman rushed for 125 yards and added a touchdown.

Head-to-Head, Huffman has the edge in carries, yards, touchdowns and victories. McDonald 2018 vs CN: 10 rushes 10 yards | 2019 vs CN: 20 rushes 141 yards 1 touchdown – Huffman 2018 vs CE: 22 rushes 101 yards | 2019 vs CE: 42 rushes 259 yards 4 touchdowns, 86 yard kickoff touchdown return

Both of these running backs possess good field vision, solid pass catching ability and toughness to run between the tackles. McDonald and Huffman burst onto the scene as sophomores with stats to earn post-season recognition, only to be set back by a junior year riddle with injuries. Barring any setbacks, both of these players are primed for a big senior year.

Mark McDonald Hudl

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Blake Huffman Hudl

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