Albany running back Jonathan Jefferson jukes past a Greenville defender early in Saturday’s season opener for the Indians, who handed the ball off to Jefferson 15 times in the first half. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)
ALBANY — The University of Miami will be getting one of the nation’s top linebackers when Juwon Young makes his way down to south Florida in a matter of months.
As it turns out, the Hurricanes will be getting a heck of a rusher, too.
The new-look Albany High Indians opened the season Saturday at Hugh Mills Stadium against Class A Greenville, and Young not only shined on defense, but the 6-foot-3 senior lit up the Patriots on offense with four rushing touchdowns and 86 yards — and ran in three two-point conversions — to lead Albany to a 30-20 win.
Albany threw the ball all over the field last season with graduated QB Emanuel Byrd, but Indians coach Felton Williams leaned on Young and running backs Jonathan Jefferson — who had a game-high 165 yards — and Quetin Sapp on Saturday to set the tone for both the game and the season.
“Juwon gave me more than I expected. I didn’t expect him to give me 30 points,” Felton said. “They couldn’t stop the run, so I kept running. If you can’t stop a leaky faucet, I am going to let it drip.”
Young, who played every snap on defense, had TD runs of 13, 22, 21 and 2 yards, including a score with 1:59 left to give the Indians a two-possession lead.
“I was very happy with the way I ran the ball (Saturday),” Young said. “I didn’t expect myself to feel the way I did running the ball, but once I got the feel of it I just went with the flow.”
The Indians were able to avenge last year’s season-opening loss to Greenville and move above .500 for the first time since midway through the 2011 season. The Indians (1-0) play again Friday at home against Lee County, which is coming off a 55-6 win against Dougherty.