Malonta Patterson’s first touchdown run of the season came in the opener against McKinley Tech two weeks ago, a 32-yard burst that the Dunbar senior believes wouldn’t have happened a year ago. The design of the play was geared toward the left on this particular run, and instead of trying to plow his way through the second tier of the defense — a tendency he had lasts season — Patterson stopped, and cut back into the open field and found an open path to the end zone.
Something else happened for Patterson last week than never before: Patterson took a kickoff return 70 yards for a touchdown in a 41-0 win over Phelps. He has returned dozens and dozens of kicks for Dunbar (2-0) since his sophomore season, but no return has ever materialized for a score. Friday’s return was the result of patience.
“I’m diverse on the field. It shows that I can play more than just running back. It shows that I can increase my production on the field,” Patterson said.
Patterson is not shy when talking about his worth. He said he believes he’s “the best running back in the city,” right now, and he certainly has put up the numbers to contend with that claim. Patterson has already rushed for 263 yards in two games this season, and is averaging just under 10 yards per carry and has scored three touchdowns.
Dunbar’s offense has been among the most productive in the DCIAA through two games. The Crimson Tide has outscored opponents, 69-2, and sophomore quarterback Chrisdeion Alston has already thrown for 341 yards and four touchdowns, and has run for another three scores.
Having Patterson in the backfield should certainly alleviate pressure in the weeks to come for the young Alston. Patterson currently holds offers from Rhode Island and Hampton, the ladder of which is Patterson’s favorite on this point. Those schools are looking at Patterson as a running back, while he is gaining heavy interest from Towson as a potential slot receiver.
“We’re running the same type of offense, but this year I’m learning really how to run it, and I have to be patient. Now that I’m patient I see that I can make more runs, or get more yards,” Patterson said. “Hopefully with the progression of the season, I can set some records.”