MYRTLE BEACH —When Ray Stackley is standing on the sideline as a coach, he’s crafty and competitive. When he’s on the sideline as an observer, he’s jovial and likes to joke with the players. The affable Stratford coach was on the sideline this week to watch North-South practices and couldn’t resist joking with Jarrod Tucker, Summerville’s standout running back.
North-South GameWhat: 64th annual high school football all-star gameWhen: 12:30 p.m., SaturdayWhere: Doug Shaw Stadium, Myrtle BeachTickets: $15 at the gate. Up to two children (under 7) admitted free with one adult ticket holder.
“You better thank me,” Stackley said with a laugh. “We’re the reason why you are here. You ran all over our football team.”
Summerville was on the wrong end of a 41-17 decision against Stratford, but Tucker played well. The Wave’s featured running back Davon Anderson suffered a knee injury in the first half and Tucker moved to tailback. He responded with 147 yards on only 13 carries. He broke off a pair of 45-yard runs including one that went for a score. He also took a short pass from quarterback Sawyer Bridges and turned it into a 31-yard touchdown.
Tucker will showcase his talent Saturday when the 64th annual North-South All-Star football game is contested at Doug Shaw Stadium. Tucker and his South squad teammates are hoping to end the North’s three-game winning streak. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.
“It’s an honor to be here,” Tucker said of his North-South experience. “There are a lot of good players up here, and all I want, all I ask for, is a chance. I can get it done because we have some talent upfront.”
While he was the featured back in only 3½ games his senior season, he managed to rush for 579 yards. His statistics for the season rivaled those of full-time players. He carried 159 times for 990 yards and 13 touchdowns, while catching 16 passes for 251 yards and a pair of scores. He averaged 6.7 every time he touched the ball.
“He’s one of the few backs I’ve had who could do it all,” Summerville coach John McKissick said. “He has good speed and can catch the ball. And, he’s probably the best blocking back I’ve ever had. I hate to lose him.”
Tucker enjoyed his time in the spotlight.
“I liked being the featured back, but I respect Davon,” said Tucker. “Davon is younger than me, but I look up to him. I respect him.”
Tucker also had big games against Fort Dorchester, Beaufort and Colleton County before Anderson returned in time for the Ashley Ridge game, a victory that gave McKissick his 600th career victory.
He rushed for 131 yards and a score against the Patriots. He carried only 10 times against Beaufort but gained 100 yards and scored a touchdown. He finished with 201 yards rushing and two TDs against Colleton County.
“The best thing about him is he’s a good kid,” McKissick said of Tucker. “He’s a, ‘Yes sir. No sir.” He’s a kid who stays out of trouble.”
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil