Hamilton had high praise for the Little Hawks’ ground game so far this season.
“The run game has really been a bright spot on the offense this year. Tonka and Max have been outstanding running the ball and Malik has added a lot to the run game as well.”
If the offensive line tees City High up for success, running backs Max Deprenger ‘19 and Tonka Hickman ‘20 knock the ball out of the park. Both players bring speed and power to the City High backfield, and where Hickman’s larger build packs an added punch on contact, Deprenger brings a crucial element of elusiveness.
“Max is quick, he’s a quick guy,” said Hickman. “He pats me on the back everytime, I pat him on the back. We got that little one-two step going.”
Both backs ran effectively against Hempstead in a just-under 100 yard rushing effort. Deprenger made the decisive play of the night with some help from the offensive line as the Little Hawks pushed him forward for a 10 yard go-ahead score. Hickman was the leading rusher with 56 yards.
“Tonka Hickman is definitely a guy who is really dangerous at running back and has the ability to break tackles and make people miss in the secondary,” said Hamilton. “Max DePrenger has had to learn multiple positions and has been a threat at whatever position he’s playing.”
City’s run game remains one of its strengths, and the ability to run the ball both inside and outside has been crucial. Fumbling has been an issue for City High this season, but the Little Hawks did not lose a fumble against Hempstead and no running backs fumbled. If the Little Hawks can continue to clean up turnovers and get a push at the line, both Hickman and Deprenger will continue to add to their highlight reels.