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Toney totes Crater into playoff hunt

CENTRAL POINT-- Scott Toney walked off the field last Friday oblivious to the fact that he had registered one of the greatest performances in Crater High football history.

Toney was too busy celebrating the Comets' 24-14 victory over Ashland to realize he had carried the ball a staggering 45 times for an equally staggering 265 yards.

I knew I had carried the ball a lot, but I had no clue I had run for that many yards, Toney says. You're so focused on trying to win the game that you don't pay much attention to what you've done individually.

Toney's monster game fell short of the school-record 315 yards gained by Darryl Clift on Sept. 18, 1981. But it helped catapult Crater to its first victory over Ashland in 14 years, it helped to end the Comets' four-game losing streak and it pushed Toney's season rushing total to 791 yards. He needs just 29 yards during tonight's game against Klamath Union to surpass Roseburg's Conway Bixby as the No. — rusher in the Southern Oregon Conference. Bixby, who has 818 yards and has played in eight games to Toney's seven, has the week off.

Toney doesn't deny that he'd like to win the SOC rushing title, but if a trophy were to come his way he'd probably cut it into 11 pieces and offer a share to his teammates on offense.

The first words out of Toney's mouth in the locker room following last week's epic performance were, Make sure you mention our line and our fullbacks. Those guys blocked their hearts out for me.

At 6 feet and 205 pounds, Toney is big for a high school running back. He's also strong, having bench-pressed 325 pounds and hoisted over 500 pounds on the squat rack.

Those two attributes enable Toney to break tackles and lunge for extra yardage. Defensive players who hit him high almost always get carried upfield for an extra yard or two.

The Grizzlies also learned that Toney is no slow poke when the senior dashed 45 yards up the middle for the game's first touchdown.

Toney's combination of strength and speed is perhaps best exemplified in track, where he's a shot-putter and sprinter. He's better at the former -- his put of 52 feet, 11 inches won the SOC district championship last spring.

But with an 11.4 clocking in the 100 meters, Toney has won his share of sprint races, too.

You don't see very many shot-putters who run the sprints, Crater football coach Randy Heath says. It just shows what kind of an athlete Scott is.

And although Toney runs mostly straight ahead, he has just enough moves to make defenders not get a good shot on him.

When I run up the middle, I just try to barrel over guys, says Toney, who also starts at defensive end for the Comets. But once I get in the open field, I'll put on a move or two to keep guys off my ankles.

Toney's athleticism also extends to the wrestling mat. He finished seventh at the Class 4A state tournament last spring despite spending far less time in the wrestling room than most who participate in that sport.

But if that means not winning an individual state championship, then that's a sacrifice Toney is willing to make. He's not about to give up one sport in order to concentrate more fully on another.

No way, Toney says. Football's my favorite, but I love them all. I only wish I had time to try a few others.

You can bet the baseball pitchers in the SOC are thankful he doesn't.