Tolbert no longer in shadows

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 5, 1999

Centreville senior running back Matthew Tolbert watched Derek Tate run up and down the field for last year as Tigers went unbeaten on their way to a MPSA state championship.

Tate rushed for 2,047 yards last year on his way to being named Area Player of the Year.

&uot;Derek taught me how to play hard on every down,&uot; Tolbert said.

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Tate is gone, but Tolbert was doing some dancing of his own Friday night, rushing for 142 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 41-8 win over Adams County Christian School.

&uot;That was my best game,&uot; Tolbert said. &uot;The line blocked real well and everybody contributed. Our defense stepped it up and our goal line defense did a good job.&uot;

Tolbert scored on runs of 1, 39 and 26 yards.

His two long TD&160;runs were similar, with the running back slashing off tackle and then weaving through defenders to the end zone.

&uot;I&160;was just trying to do the best that I could to help the team win,&uot; he said. &uot;I just tried to ‘juck’ them and get into the end zone.&uot;

Centreville lost its first game of the season to Bowling Green to end a 14-game winning streak. The Tigers beat Central Private last week.

&uot;We know we may not be as good as last year’s team, but we’ll make it,&uot; Tolbert said. &uot;Everybody has to just keep working hard.&uot;