Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 12, 2013

MOUNT ULLA — West Rowan has played 12 quarters of football, and star tailback Daisean Reddick has played just one of them.
So how is it that West is leading the county in rushing yards (238 per game) and total offense (386 per game)?
There are several factors involved, but the main one is Reddick’s understudy Keyows Weeks.
Weeks is a senior, but unless you followed his success in middle school and jayvee ball, you’d never heard of him until Reddick got hurt opening night at Mooresville. Reddick’s ankle injury thrust Weeks right into the fire, and he produced a respectable 52 yards on 14 carries in West’s 35-21 loss.
“It was crazy at Mooresville because I was just not used to getting hit like that, but you do what you’ve gotta do,” Weeks said.
Many thought West would be in serious trouble if Reddick didn’t heal quickly, but Weeks proved doubters wrong the last two weeks. His 25 carries for 142 yards against a scrappy Davie defense was instrumental in a hard-earned victory. Next, he plowed Salisbury for 158 yards on 20 carries in Friday’s 55-0 West romp.
In both games, Weeks found the end zone twice. He broke a long run for the game-winning score against Davie.
“I saw a hole, and then I saw grass,” Weeks said. “Then I saw there was one defender left, so I lowered my shoulder and ran him over.”
Weeks has obviously been a different guy in weeks 2 and 3 than he was on opening night.
“The Mooresville game, Daisean gets hurt, and Keyows has got to go in, in a tough situation,” West coach Scott Young said. “But the last two weeks, he’s been able to prepare and get practice reps, and Monday through Thursday are really important. It’s helped him that our offensive line is improving, and Keyows has turned in two solid games for us.”
Weeks (5-11, 175) is second in Rowan County with 352 rushing yards, trailing only North phenom Jareke Chambers, so where in the world has he been?
He explained that he was ineligible as both a sophomore and junior, but give him credit for catching up in the classroom and give West’s staff credit for not giving up on him.
“It had been a long time, but I really wanted to be on the field my last year, and I went to Coach Young before the season and told him I wanted to play,” Weeks said. “He said it was good that I wanted to play, but he wanted to know if my schoolwork was caught up. I finally could tell him it was.”
West figured to need a backup for the explosive Reddick about as much as it needed an autographed picture of the Concord Spiders, but the thing about football is that even the best player is one big hit or one bad break away from the sidelines.
When Reddick went down, having Weeks on board was a godsend.
Weeks’ last carry against Salisbury was a touchdown, but he hurt an ankle when he got hit in the end zone. Weeks was on crutches Monday, but it’s a short-term injury and it’s also West’s open week. Reddick also is on the mend and eager to return.
It’s not like Reddick is going to lose his job, but now West knows it has another guy who can handle part of the load.
“Keyows has earned some game-planning and some time-sharing with his production,” Young said. “We’ve had two running backs on crutches already, but we should have both of those guys — Daisean and Keyows — at full force when we start SPC play on the 20th.”
Weeks has been more forceful than anyone could have anticipated. He had 83 yards on just six carries in the second half of the Salisbury game, and he’s appreciated now by teammates and fans.
“It all feels really good,” Weeks said. “It’s just good to be playing football again. There’s no atmosphere like it.”