Earl Preddy has had his share of strong games on the defensive side of the ball for Dreher this season.
On Friday, it was Preddy’s turn to showcase his offensive skills. The senior rushed for 198 yards and four TDs and caught two passes for 25 yards and a score in the 47-15 win over Camden as the Blue Devils improved to 2-0 in Region 4-3A. Preddy also had 10 tackles, returned an interception for a TD and was named The State’s Player of the Week.
“It was the most exciting night of my life, and best game of my career,” Preddy said. “As I started to get more carries, I started to realize what their defense was doing and started to use it to my advantage.”
“Earl took advantage of his opportunities,” Dreher coach Treigh Sullivan said. “He made some plays there wasn’t much there, and he didn’t want to be tackled. It was a great performance, one of the best ones as far as my coaching history. I’m happy for him. He is a program kid, been here all four years and works really hard.”
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Preddy’s performance has gotten him more attention this week, but he is taking it all in stride as the Blue Devils travel to top-ranked Chapin in a battle for first place in the region.
“It is nice, but I am not feeding into it,” Preddy said. “I am trying to stay humble and go into this week as if nothing even happened.”
Preddy has been the primary backup to Jay Washington, who leads the team with 843 rushing yards, while starting at linebacker or strong safety on defense. But with Dreher finally getting healthy on defense, Preddy was able to help more on offense in recent weeks.
Two weeks ago, Preddy rushed for 85 yards and a TD in the victory over Lower Richland.
“He is obviously very capable,” Sullivan said. “He got some confidence in some games early and had a big second half against Lower Richland to really help him.”
Sullivan said Washington still will be the main ball carrier, but Preddy “definitely will get his touches.” The two complement each other’s style with Washington more of a downhill runner and Preddy better as a zone runner in Dreher’s scheme with a quick first step.
“It really starts to open things up in the backfield,” Preddy said. “Teams start to prepare for one type of running style with Jay. And then if I get into the backfield, teams are going to have adjust on the fly, so we really use it to our advantage and can put in different plays.”