If Friday night was any indication, Ben Davis will run its way through the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference this fall — literally.
The Giants opened their conference schedule with a 28-14 win over North Central, thanks to a collective 342 yards rushing. Jamie Akin led the Giants with 158 yards on 17 attempts.
“We just wanted to maintain our ability to be physical and play physical football,” Ben Davis coach Mike Kirschner said. “If we do what we’re supposed to up front — and I feel like we got better tonight up front — and (Akin) breaks some tackles with his speed, ability and toughness, he’s doing what he should be doing and supposed to.”
It took nearly the entire first half, but Ben Davis (2-1) drew first blood on an 8-yard quarterback keeper by Kyle Castner.
After an interception on North Central’s ensuing drive, Akin punched it in to give Ben Davis a 14-0 lead at halftime.
“All week we were preparing for them to come fast,” Akin said. “I saw the safeties coming down and how they brought the outside linebackers, so I knew if the hole was open I could get through there with my speed and toughness.”
North Central (0-3) didn’t go down without a fight. The Panthers cut their deficit to seven points twice, but in the end, their inability to stop the Giants’ relentless rushing attack was their downfall.
“We haven’t had a good ground attack since 2011,” Kirschner said. “Last year was a struggle finding any yards so this is something we’ve been waiting on. We haven’t been in sync this season and we weren’t in sync starting off tonight, but we got going in the middle of the second quarter and then it really exploded.”
Running back-by-committee is usually a hard role to accept, especially for a senior, but Akin likes the motivation he gets from his fellow backs.
“We’re a family,” he said. “When (Dorian) Tate came in, he broke his tackles and that re-energized us. I saw my running back running hard and it’s like, ‘Let’s go!’ almost like a competition, but we’re family. We go out and practice every day with the mindset that we have to break arm-tackles first and foremost. Every play isn’t going to be a big play, but if we keep wearing them down with speed and toughness, we’ll start breaking those 50-yard runs.”