Wallace carrying the load for Cuthbertson running game

Cuthbertson running back Myles Wallace (4) looks for running room against Weddington. (Photo by Ashleigh Mock)

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Player Profile

Myles Wallace

School: Cuthbertson High

Class: Junior

Position: Running Back

Height: 5-10

Weight: 170

Notable: Wallace has a chance to break the school record for rushing yards in a single season Friday night with 83 yards. … Wallace has rushed 249 times for 1,126 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. … Wallace has rushed for 100 or more yards four times this season. … He rushed for 124 yards in last week’s playoff win at Alexander Central.

Cuthbertson High head football coach David Johnson never thought that junior running back Myles Wallace would have a chance to even come close to breaking the Cavaliers single-season rushing record.

Wallace also had no illusions of possibly putting his name in the school’s record books.

But things changed quickly for Wallace and the Cavaliers.

When the season started back in August, Johnson said he expected Wallace and senior running back Christian Heinzelman to equally carry the rushing load in the Cavaliers balanced offense. Johnson called his top two running backs 1A and 1B in no particular order.

But that order changed dramatically when Heinzelman was injured in the season opener and the senior has not played since.

That meant no splitting carries and that made Wallace the Cavaliers’ workhorse in the backfield and the 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior has answered the challenge.

Wallace has rushed 249 times for 1,126 yards and 10 touchdowns and he has rushed for 100 yards or more in four games this season. Wallace’s biggest night of the year came last week when he rushed 25 times for 124 yards as the Cavaliers upset Alexander Central 35-28 in the first round of the Class 3AA playoffs.

That win sets up a showdown with fellow Southern Carolina Conference foe Sun Valley (9-3) in Monroe Friday night.

Among running backs and wide receivers, Wallace has all but 45 of the Cavaliers’ rushing attempts this season and he has 1,126 of the Cavaliers’ total of 1,230 yards on the ground this season.

“Myles has done a great job this year,” Johnson said. “Second back in school history to break 1,000 yards. He has managed it so well. At his size and his height, that is a big load to take on. We are proud of him.”

When Heinzelman went down with his injury Wallace knew the rushing load would be on his shoulders.

“I knew I had to step up my game,” Wallace said. “I knew I had to be more aggressive going through the hole. But we did what we had to do and we became a stronger team.”

Wallace and Johnson both give credit to the offensive line for the juniors’ success.

“If you don’t block, you can’t have a running back rush for 1,000 yards,” Johnson said. “The O-line up front, a mixture of seniors and young guys, they have done a really good job this year. When you get to 1,000 yards, that is a feat for everyone.”

Cuthbertson entered the playoffs on a four-game losing streak but Wallace said the Cavaliers played one of their best games of the season in the win against Alexander Central.

“I have to give the line credit for what they have done this season,” Wallace said. “I just can’t do it alone. We have a good offensive line. We haven’t given up this season. Sun Valley is good and they have a good quarterback (Sam Howell). We have to come together again as a team against Sun Valley and play Cuthbertson football.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at ripig1979@yahoo.com.