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Player of the Week: Matt Etheridge

Marengo Academy wasn’t supposed to stay on the field with Patrician. The Saints are No. 6 in the state and return plenty of players off a team that decimated the Longhorns in the 2008 season opener.

Conversely, the Longhorns don’t have enough players on the roster to be able to run a full practice. That game, on paper, was supposed to be a blowout.

But then again, new starting fullback Matt Etheridge wasn’t supposed to run for 132 yards on 11 carries either. The junior showed off his speed Thursday night, averaging 12 yards per carry while accounting for more than 94 percent of the Longhorn ground game.

Etheridge had a number of runs in which he would take the handoff, hit a cluster of defenders, fight for a few yards and eventually go down. Undaunted, Etheridge continued to take the rock, make one hard cut and dart up field.

Persistence paid off for Etheridge, as he found daylight on multiple occasions, including one in which he bolted 26 yards for Marengo’s opening touchdown of the game.

Etheridge also intercepted a pass from his defensive back position, halting a Saint threat that would have blown the game open.

His businesslike approach to the game and unwillingness to quit helped keep the Longhorns in the game until the final possession and earned “Matty Ice” Player of the Week honors.