When a star player is called upon in a game, the coaches expect him to make it.
That is exactly what Sugar Land (Tex.) Hightower running back Roosevelt Appleton did the season opener. With 5:22 remaining in the game Friday against Eisenhower, Appleton found a crease and ran in the game-winning score from 35 yards out.
"I was just following behind my line. I saw an open hole and went through it with a burst," Appleton said. "I held the ball high and tight and went for it."
With the extra point, that gave Hightower the lead and eventually the win. For the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Appleton, it was a night of patience. In the end, the entire Hightower team only had 129 yards of total offense. Appleton was responsible for 86 yards of that (on eight carries and the touchdown).
Though the win feels good, Appleton feels as that it will be time to go back to the drawing board and see where things could have gone better.
"This a good win, but there is a lot of things we still need to do on offense, like pick up the tempo and start passing the ball a little more and doing what we need to do," Appleton said.
With a slow start, Appleton knew that a moment would come that he would be able to find an opening to make a play. Most of his production came in the second half, and the big play came on one of the team's final possessions.
Luckily, like it was the previous year, Hightower fields a potent defense which allows the offense time to work things out.
"I know our defense will be there for us every step of the way. We just have to go out and support them by moving the ball," Appleton said. "For me, I knew later on in the game there would be a time. I just had to wait for it and let it go."
That he did. And while this team looks to continue making progress on the season, one thing Appleton does not need to worry about is his future. That is his future as a student-athlete.
In the off season, he made his commitment to Houston and even now he knows that it was a great decision made.
"I'm very happy with my commitment, with UH and the coaches. If I do what I need to do and catch on quickly, I could have a chance to start with some playing time," Appleton said.
Appleton said that the coaches plan to keep him at the running back position.
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