Photo by Derrick Mahone
Eagle's Landing Christian running back John Tatum (right) is the Chargers leading rusher through the first three games of the season.
After rushing for over 1,000 yards the past two seasons, Eagle’s Landing Christian running back Keyante Green was asked to perform a different role this season.
Instead of getting the bulk of the carries on offense, the Chargers coaching staff has been using him mostly on defense in the early part of the season.
Green has been equally impressive on the defensive side of the ball through his first two seasons on varsity, where he has about 100 tackles in each of the last two seasons.
“Keyante humbly accepted this role,” ELCA coach Jonathan Gess said.
“It is not a big deal,” Green said of the defensive role. “I’m getting an opportunity to run this season. I just want to do whatever it takes to help the team out.”
So far this season, the all-state performer has 211 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 38 carries. The Chargers are 2-1 overall heading into Friday’s Region 5-A contest at First Presbyterian in Macon.
ELCA offensive coordinator Jason Carrera said part of the coaching staff’s move of Green has been to keep him fresh during the earlier part of the season. Green has experienced some cramping during games because of the heat.
Carrera said he expects Green, who has several Football Bowl Subdivision scholarship offers, to resume a larger role in the offense later in the season.
Offensively, Carrera said the team is ahead of last year’s pace, minus the turnovers. The Chargers are averaging 235 yards rushing per game.
The featured back has been senior John Tatum, who has 342 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries.
“There is no question that both these guys would be the start back on any team,” Carrera said. “We really don’t lose anything with either one of them in the game.”
The biggest difference is that Green runs the Chargers’ “Wildcat” package. Carrera said they haven’t used it as much this year, but will incorporate it more as the season progresses.
Green has ran the ball a lot during the third quarter, and short yardage situations.
“We know that defenses will try to key on one of us,” Green said. “I know one of us will hit a big run either way. I just want to do my part to help the team.”