Friday Night Hero: Salisbury's Dominique Dismuke
By Ronnie Gallagher
SALISBURY — It’s getting chilly out there on Friday nights and that’s bad news for the Central Carolina Conference.
Salisbury’s Dominique Dismuke loves the frozen tundra.
“The cold does something to my body that makes me play harder,” Dismuke said with a wide grin.
Dismuke proved it on Friday at Atkins. It was cold and Dismuke had his best game of the season in a 56-0 romp. He averaged 10 yards per carry and scored three of the first five Hornet touchdowns. He ran in from 20, 8 and 17 yards.
“The holes started opening up and I just hit them hard,” Dismuke said.
The senior back came into the season as the heir apparent to Romar Morris, but going into last week, he hadn’t been getting many carries. When coach Joe Pinyan shivered in the 50-degree temperatures Friday before the game, he knew it was Dismuke’s time.
“He’s usually a late bloomer, Pinyan said. “Somewhere late in the season, he’ll score five touchdowns, then score five again.”
Pinyan pointed to last season where Dismuke scored five times in the regular season finale against East Davidson and then trotted into the end zone five more times against North Surry in the first round of the playoffs. He was then named offensive MVP in the 2AA state-title win over Northeastern.
Of course, he was the MVP. On Dec. 12, it was rainy and frigid.
“I love the cold,” Dismuke said, “especially when it gets playoff time. I’m not ready to go home until the last game.”
Pinyan is always the first to note the wishbone doesn’t cater to one runner. Pinyan sees what the defense is giving the Hornets and he plans accordingly.
“Traditionally, our backs end up with the same amount of carries, whether we try to do that or not,” Pinyan said. “But we made a conscious effort Friday to put the ball in Dominique’s hands quite a few times to get him going and get him on track. We didn’t think we’d get three touchdowns out of him, but he ran the ball hard.”
The game was over so quickly Dismuke’s seven carries were a team high. And that was OK.
“It wouldn’t be fair to give one person a certain amount of carries,” Dismuke said. “We share the ball as much as we can. We’re still pretty talented with me and Justin (Ruffin) and Max (Allen) and with (Brian) Bauk running the option. But it did make me feel good that I got the ball more than I have been.”
Just as important as his running was his blocking.
“He graded as high as we’ve ever had a running back grade out,” Pinyan said. “I think he made an effort in practice to be a better player and it showed in his blocking. He also did a better job of running behind Justin’s blocks.”
Pinyan said Dismuke is a quiet leader who wants everyone to excel. Dismuke didn’t mind coming out early.
“Everybody played hard in the first half so we could get the jayvees out there to get more experience,” Dismuke said.
When conference play begins, Dismuke will be on the field more. And he can’t wait.
“It seems like it’s getting a little colder earlier,” he smiled.
In other words, watch out on those cold nights ahead, CCC.
The Iceman Cometh.