DeMatha star running back Taiwan Deal rumbled to 18 yards on his first carry in Monday’s game against Godby (Fla.) at Byrd Stadium in College Park, and then he promptly fumbled on the following play. His performance on Labor Day was productive; Deal ran for 101 yards and a touchdown in the 26-9 rout (just a week after running for 118 and a score against Phoebus), but as the first two plays foretold it was a process.
“I didn’t really hold my head down,” Deal said. “We turned it over for no reason. It was about the next play, and I came back.”
He missed a large chunk of the third quarter after spraining his right foot before halftime. He rested for several possessions, and was called upon late in the quarter to help finish off a reeling Godby defense that never found its own footing against a physical and balanced Stags offense.
And he didn’t shy away from the steamrolling running style that made Wisconsin coaches giddy in June when he committed to the Badgers. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Deal made a number of punishing runs in the fourth quarter, gaining 23 yards on his final five carries of the game.
With two consecutive 100-yard performances, he’s ahead of the pace to outrun his junior season yardage mark, when he posted 965 yards and 21 touchdowns. As for Deal’s foot, it is a fresh injury, not a re-aggravation. He was still hobbling after the game, but was confident that the sprain was minor. He took an ibuprofen during the second half.
“I sprained it real bad,” Deal said. “It’s aching me right now, but I’m going to be good by the next game.”