The Gridiron Blog brings you the scores, stats and stories from Fredericksburg-area high school football.
Player of the Week: Foster makes most of chances
PANTHERS’ SPEEDY SENIOR SPECIALIZES IN BIG-PLAY TOUCHDOWN RUNS
BY NATHAN WARTERS
As one of many playmakers in Massaponax’s triple-option offense, senior slot back Joey Foster knows he’s not going to fill up the box score every week.
That’s OK, because he knows there’s always a big game around the corner.
“He’s got breakaway potential and great breakaway speed, so we definitely want to get him the ball,” Panthers head coach Eric Ludden said. “Sometimes with what we do, it works out that way and sometimes it doesn’t.
“That’s the thing about Joey. He understands that, so some nights are going to be his and some nights aren’t, but he still contributes with his blocking and defense. He’s unselfish.”
It couldn’t have worked out better for the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Foster in Massaponax’s 59–30 win at Colonial Forge on Friday night. He rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries and also returned an interception 65 yards for a score.
It was only his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, but Foster isn’t counting.
“I’m normally an unselfish kind of guy,” said Foster, who also starts at defensive back for the Panthers. “It helps us win. Anything that’ll get the job done, I’m all for it.”
There are only so many carries to go around in the Panthers’ run-heavy attack, so Foster knows to make the most of the opportunities he gets.
He has rushed for 530 yards and seven touchdowns on 69 carries this season and also caught six passes for 76 yards and a score. Of Foster’s nine touchdowns this season, five have covered 50 yards or more.
There aren’t many players who can match Foster’s speed in the open field. Ludden said Foster is on the short list of the fastest players on Massaponax’s team.
“Right now I just feel when I get the ball, I’m taking off and I don’t really expect anybody to catch me,” said Foster, who was clocked at 4.43 in the 40-yard dash at a college camp this summer.
Foster feels much faster now that he is almost fully recovered from the quad contusion he suffered in the third game of the season.
“I feel like Friday was my closest to 100 percent that I’ve been since the injury and I think it’s only improving,” Foster said. “I think at least by playoffs I should be back to full.”
Foster excels at more than just football. He also plays for the Panthers basketball team and has a 3.9 GPA.
Foster, who is being recruited by Ivy League schools Harvard, Cornell and Penn, wants to study economics in college, and he wants to play football at the next level too.
“I think I’m definitely going to be playing for a college, but I haven’t made any decisions or anything like that,” he said.
Foster isn’t looking too far into the future at this point. He’s directing all his attention to helping his team win. The Panthers could position themselves for a Northwest Region, Division 5 home playoff game if they defeat Albemarle in Friday’s regular-season finale.
“I think our team has the potential to go far in the playoffs,” Foster said. “I’m not really worried about anything else right now.”