Nick Jacobs, left, needs eight yards tonight to reach 1,000. Adam Holloway will hit that plateau with 50.
Nick Jacobs probably is not the top running back in northwest Ohio.
Neither is Adam Holloway.
Yet, together they're arguably the best backfield tandem around.
Perrysburg High's top two backs are each on the verge of eclipsing the 1,000-yard rushing plateau.
Jacobs, a 5-8, 175-pound senior halfback, can stumble over the line of scrimmage a few times against longtime rival Maumee tonight to reach 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight year. He has 992 yards on 118 carries this fall.
Holloway, a 6-1, 185-pound senior fullback, has been perhaps the most pleasant surprise this fall for Perrysburg. After seeing minimal playing time in a varsity uniform a year ago, he finds himself only 50 yards shy of 1,000.
“I feel confident calling either one of those guys' numbers,” first-year Perrysburg coach Roger Frank said.
The Yellow Jackets, ranked No. 1 in The Blade's Division I poll, are 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Northern Lakes League. Jacobs and Holloway are central figures in that success.
“In some cases you might have just one running back to think about trying to stop in a game, but you can't take away part of (Perrysburg's) running game,” Springfield coach Phil DeMars said. “You've got to prepare for their whole running game.”
“I think they're a great running back pair,” Northview coach Eric Keller said.
Perrysburg's running attack consists primarily of Jacobs slashing outside the tackles and Holloway chewing up yards between them in a wing-T attack. Both are comfortable with their roles.
“We force teams to try and key on both of us and that usually opens it up for one of us,” said Jacobs, who is among the area leaders in scoring with 23 rushing touchdowns. “We have more than one weapon. Teams can't take everything away.”
Holloway, who had a Mohawk that looked like a cobra shaved on his head earlier this week as part of team tradition heading into the Maumee match-up, has enjoyed sharing the backfield with Jacobs.
“We complement each other,” said Holloway, who has rushed for 14 touchdowns. “When one team tries to key on Nick one week, I'm able to get some yards. When a team keys on me, Nick gets the yards.”
Frank started his latest coaching job last spring with the approach that every position on the field would be up for grabs, including both running back spots. Jacobs had to earn his spot even though he was a productive starter a year ago. It wasn't until two-a-days in August when Frank decided on Jacobs and Holloway as his main ball-carriers.
In spite of their differing running styles - Jacobs relies on quick cuts and the ability to make would-be tacklers miss while Holloway is more of a power runner - Frank was impressed by one characteristic both rushers showed during initial workouts for the season.
“They're two running backs who can go all the way on any play,” Frank said. “They provide nice balance and that's what you always want.
“It's nice to have that one-two punch.”
Frank would like to see both backs post 1,000-yard seasons. However, an outright league title and a playoff berth are the Jackets' main concerns tonight against Maumee (7-2, 5-1 NLL).
“The 1,000 yards won't matter as much as winning and getting into the playoffs,” Jacobs said.
Frank, who has never coached two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season, agreed.
“That's not a priority at all,” he said. “If that doesn't occur in order for us to win, that's fine.”
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