Ambrose Metz-Beard is determined not to allow any opportunity on the football field go to waste this season.
The Logan High School senior fullback and linebacker was all over the field Friday during the Rangers’ comeback win over Sparta. Logan sits at 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the MVC, and Metz-Beard’s contributions to the Rangers on both sides of the ball were easy to see against the Spartans (3-1, 1-1).
The 5-foot-9 fullback ran a good drag route on a bootleg pass when the Rangers were in the red zone in the second quarter. He hauled in the pass at about the 7-yard line, shed a tackle and got into the end zone. Then he punctuated the team’s four-play drive late in the third quarter that iced the game for Logan. He finished with 19 yards on 11 carries.
Defensively, he was a terror in the second half from his linebacker slot. He was key to halting the Sparta rushing attack, led by Cole Wisniewski, that gave Logan fits in the first half. After some halftime adjustments shored things up for the front seven, Metz-Beard was able to cut down runners and lay big hits in the middle of the defense.
“He’s taken over as a great player and a leader of our team,” Rangers coach Casey Knoble said Friday. “He’s vocal, he knows what he’s doing, he comes with passion every day, and it shows up on Friday nights.”
Metz-Beard said he takes pride in being a versatile, and productive, player for Logan.
“I’ve always felt like that was my role,” Metz-Beard said. “I’ve been playing both sides of the ball as much as I can. I want as much playing time as I can get, it’s my senior year.”
The standout performance was especially sweet for Metz-Beard because of the opponents. The Spartans handed the Rangers one of their two conference losses last year, and that game ended up being the reason Logan didn’t tie Onalaska for the MVC title in 2016.
“We’ve been preparing for this team all week,” he said. “They beat us last year … this was just a huge game for us, big vengeance game here on our home field.
“I just really wanted to help us win, and I put everything everything out there for my brothers and played as hard as I could.”
DEWITT NEARLY UNSTOPPABLE: Brookwood senior running back Ben DeWitt is tearing up opposing offenses, and the end result for the Falcons (3-1, 2-0) is a three-game winning streak.
DeWitt, who is listed at 5 feet, 10 inches and 180 pounds, has rushed for 731 yards and scored 14 touchdowns — during the winning streak — after gaining 194 yards and scoring three times in Friday’s 44-20 win over Cashton.
Brookwood coach Jeremy Mack credits the explosion to a few things.
One is the three sophomores starting on his offensive line picking things up quickly in their first varsity experience. Another is just DeWitt being DeWitt.
“We expected him to play well, but you can’t expect someone to go out there and run for 200 or 300 yards,” Mack said. “He is very dedicated to becoming better, and he is a good combination of being very physical and fast.
“But I think the big difference for him this year is his field vision. He can stop on a dime and find the holes quicker than he could before.”
That doesn’t mean DeWitt, who has 780 rushing yards this season, isn’t still happy to run over defenders. Anyone approaching him has to expect to fight off a mean stiff arm, but he also has to be more aware of a possible cut rather than the collisions that have always been there.
“He played some for us as a sophomore, and I remember him being 142 pounds and just as tall as he is now,” Mack said. “He’s added close to 50 pounds, and it’s all muscle. He has both aspects (power and elusiveness) now.”
The win over Cashton gave the Falcons a three-game winning streak after losing to De Soto in the first game of the season. The Pirates held DeWitt to 49 yards and kept him out of the end zone that night. That has prompted De Soto coach Ev Wick to wonder how much money would be in his pocket if he had a dollar every time someone asked how his team contained DeWitt that night.
DeWitt, who rushed for nearly 600 yards as a junior, has an 87-28 wrestling record for the Falcons and was a Division 3 state qualifier while going 39-9 at 145 pounds as a junior.
He is certainly building on that success this football season, and Mack hopes it leads to more team success in the coming weeks.
“Would we rather be talking about being 4-0? Yes, of course,” Mack said. “But I think we are playing well right now, and I think losing that game (to De Soto) made us the team we are.
“But we still have the top teams in the conference on our schedule, so we have to be ready for those.”
Brookwood hosts Benton/Scales Mound (Ill.) on Friday. Benton/Scales Mound (2-2) is allowing 144 rushing yards per game after beating Shullsburg 36-0.