Hairston earns USA South Rookie honors after first collegiate touchdown

Hairston earns USA South Rookie honors after first collegiate touchdown

Maryville College's Elijah Hairston earned USA South Rookie of the Week honors, as the freshman running back helped the Scots to a 48-6 win over Greensboro.

The swift-footed back was one of 13 Scots to carry the ball on Saturday, as he tallied a career-high 95 yards on 14 carries. Hairston recorded his first collegiate rushing touchdown on the day, while averaging 6.8 yards per carry.

"He had a really good day – a really productive day," Head Coach Shaun Hayes said. "He's getting better and better every day here. He's getting better with every game rep. He's a very physical kid and a very smart kid, and he has the will to be great. He has a lot of those qualities that you just can't coach, and it was a big day for him."

Hairston was a key part to Maryville's 437-yard afternoon across the ground, as he was one of a trio of backs to cross the 80-yard mark. The Scots rolled up 617 total yards of offense in the lopsided victory.

Maryville averaged 6.9 yards per carry on Saturday, following it's stout offensive line.

"It was a marathon," Hayes said. "I know they were exhausted because we handed the ball off a lot. That's who we've said that we are. That's our identity, and I think that it's awesome to see that group stuck together. We played a lot of people. They played more physical and aggressive that they have all year. I expect to see more of it as we go."

In a seven-play, 51-yard drive that led to a 21-0 score, Hairston carried the ball four times for 25 yards. The freshman had a rush of 13 yards on the drive, before Caine Adamson would rush for the touchdown from 1 yard out with 2:07 left in the first.

He would add a 16-yard dash in the second quarter, before going for 13 yards on a trio of rushes to set up a 27-0 lead before the half.

Finally, he would complete an eight-play, 76-yard drive with three carries for 28 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown jaunt. His first collegiate touchdown came with 11:34 left in the third to give the Scots a 34-0 advantage.

"He's broke a couple and tripped or something crazy has happened," Hayes said. "To see him be able to punch one in, you know, people might say it was like getting the monkey off his back, but at the same time, he could care less if he scored or if he doesn't. He just wants to know that he can contribute to our team in any way to help us win."

On the season, Hairston has recorded 251 yards on 52 carries – both of those marks ranking second on the squad. He averages 4.8 yards per carry, while recorded his touchdown against Greensboro.

The Scots will have a bye week on Oct. 7, before they travel to Huntingdon College in a battle of the 2016 Co-Champions. Kickoff for the game in Montgomery, Ala. is set for 1 p.m. CST, 2 p.m. EST.