TOLONO (WCIA) — After dislocating his shoulder in Week 1, Unity senior Matt Brown knew he couldn’t take his final season of high school football for granted.
“Sitting out St. Joe, it just really made angry,” Brown said. “I was like I got to put my head down and play really hard, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Brown rested and got treatment on his shoulder before returning for Week 3 against Illinois Valley Central. The recovery more than worked, with the running back rushing for 153 yards on 20 carries.
“It was like a heads up for me knowing that this was my last year, I got to give it my all,” Brown said.
“(A) great running back,” Unity senior quarterback Cale Rawdin said. “Really opens up the pass game when he can run all over the field and destroy all the opposing team’s defenses.”
Heading into the final week of regular season, Brown is averaging more than 150 yards per game on the ground, going past 1,000 yards for the year. Matt has already set the single season school record with 59 carries and will only further that mark with at least two more guaranteed games remaining.
“He’s just a great kid, he’s worked hard to get to this points so I’m happy for him,” Unity head coach Scott Hamilton said. “He’ll look back on it after the season is over and all those types of things, but are kids are focused on getting better and getting ready for Monticello.”
“I feel like I’m not done yet,” added Brown. “I feel like I still got more to prove. We need to fight. We need to get to state.”
And that’s the goal for the Rockets, who are coming off a Class 3A runner-up finish in the state championship game last season. Unity is playing some of its best ball at the right time too, looking for its eighth straight win heading into the playoffs.
“I’m so motivated to get back there (state title game) that for the past four years I’ve been in that weight room and I didn’t do that for nothing,” said Brown. “I go in there just because to get to state.”
First things first, a date with rival Monticello in the Friday Football Fever Spotlight Game of the Week. The Sages are looking to secure their spot in the postseason with a sixth win.