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Samuels runs for power and glory
Mallard Creek RB determined to win 4A title
 
Published Thursday, November 7, 2013 6:14 am
by Herbert L. White

Jaylen Samuels has seen successful regular seasons.

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PHOTO/CURTIS WILSON
Mallard Creek High running back Jaylen Samuels will play football at N.C. State next year, but he’s determined to deliver an N.C. 4A state championship for the Mavericks.

It’s the postseason he wants to improve on.

The Mallard Creek High tailback is a key ingredient in the Mavericks’ season-long perch atop The Post’s Magnificent Seven rankings. Last week, Samuels, who is committed to N.C. State, scored four touchdowns on as many first-quarter touches in the Mavericks’ 62-0 win against Concord J.M. Robinson to clinch at least a share of the MeCKa 4A title. To have a successful season, Samuels (6-0, 225 pounds) and Mallard Creek (10-0, 6-0) are focused on the N.C. 4A title game, a spot the Mavericks have yet to go.

The following is a conversation with Samuels, edited for brevity and clairity.

You scored four times on as many touches against Robinson, including three rushing touchdowns. Describe the effort and showing off some versatility as a runner and receiver.

“We knew we weren’t going to get that much time, so I just tried to handle my business early, and that’s what I did. I tried to do a lot of stuff. Coach (Mike Palmieri) puts me in a lot of positions to make plays, and I just make the plays. 

“When he wants me to run the ball, I run the ball. When he wants me to catch the ball, I catch the ball.”

How is the team  preparing for the postseason with a week left in the regular season?

“We’re just ready for the playoffs. We’re trying to reach our goal, and that’s the state championship.”

Mallard Creek has never advanced to the state title game. Does winning another conference championship still means as much?

“It feels good. We’re used to this. We just have to win the big games now in the playoffs. We’re going to work hard, put this last game in – it’s Senior Night – it’s special for our seniors and we’re going to wrap the season up 11-0 and we’re going to take one game at a time in the playoffs.”

Mallard Creek has seen talented teams fail to advance past the state semifinals in recent seasons. Does this team have anything to prove?

“We’re going to show everybody that we’re the best in the state and we’re going to win it all. We’re not going to lose this year in the semifinals like we did the last two years. We’re going to work hard and reach our goal.”

So it’s state championship or bust?

“We want to send our senior out with a win, especially now that I’m a senior. I want to go out with something big.”

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