McDonough junior Nick Carrington had one mission this summer: eat as much as possible. After placing sixth at the Maryland 2A/1A wrestling tournament at 152 pounds last winter, Carrington wanted to bulk up for the football season in hopes of landing a college scholarship.
Nearly 25 pounds heavier than he was in June, Carrington had no problem carrying the load for McDonough on Friday night. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back ran the ball 25 times for 117 yards and one touchdown as the Rams defeated Lackey, 10-0, before an estimated crowd of 500 at McDonough High School.
"Nick has been a workhorse for us all year," said McDonough Coach Glenn Jones, whose team improved to 3-3 overall, 3-2 in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference. "He runs the ball hard, he always gives 100 percent and he always finds a way to get in the end zone. . . . He really came through for us tonight."
Carrington, who also starts at outside linebacker, was the backup quarterback last season and saw limited playing time on offense. But at running back this season, he has been nearly unstoppable. In five games, Carrington has carried the ball 118 times for 643 yards and eight touchdowns. His 19-yard touchdown run with 1 minute 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter sealed the Rams' win Friday night against feisty Lackey (1-5, 1-3).
"At first, I was worried about getting big because I thought I would lose my speed," said Carrington, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. "But Coach [Jones] told me to keep lifting [weights] and working out and now I have a pretty decent combination."
Despite wrestling at 152 pounds most of last winter, Carrington said he knew he wanted to gain weight this summer. He asked Jones if he should go on a carbohydrate or protein diet, but Jones told him to eat whatever he wanted and hit the weight room as much as possible.
"Coach told me that I had a very high metabolism and that it didn't matter what I ate," said Carrington, who is one of the strongest players on the team. "So I ate everything in sight. I ate apple pies, pastries, meat and potatoes. You name it, I ate it."
McDonough's first score came after senior defensive back Travis Woodland recovered a fumble on the Lackey 16-yard line. The Rams couldn't do much, so junior kicker Mike Davis came out to boot a 36-yard field goal.
The Rams threatened to score again late in the third quarter, but junior defensive back Martin Queen intercepted a pass on the Lackey 2-yard line. The Chargers then marched 72 yards on 11 plays, and two McDonough penalties put the ball on the McDonough 34. But on fourth and five, Queen was stopped short by Carrington and Marcellas Cannady.