MUNCIE – His season died in the end zone, if you can fathom that. Barrington Scott took the swing pass and broke a tackle and scored for the Ball State Cardinals, so geeked he didnt even feel it when his fibula snapped like a tree branch.
What was I thinking? Scott says now, remembering back to that October afternoon in Ypsilanti, Mich. All I was thinking was I might get the next series. Im hot right now.
And then he got to the sideline.
I just laid down, Scott goes on. I felt it then, and I knew it was bad.
And then he smiles, on this windy autumn-kissed August afternoon. Because that was then, and this is now, and now the leg is as sound as ever. Now its time to resume carving out a place for himself in the crowded Ball State backfield – and while hes at it, carve out a place in a most unlikely legacy.
Scott sees it every time he opens the record book and sees Marcus Merriweathers name there, or MiQuale Lewis.
Snider alums both, Scott is the latest to grace the Cardinals backfield.
Yeah, I think about that sometimes, he says. Kind of makes me want to have an impact as well.
He did that last season from the most unlikely of places, it turns out. Just one more faceless walk-on when spring practice began, Scott – and another walk-on, Dwayne Donigan – emerged as Ball State coach Pete Lembos go-to backs coming out of spring. Then freshman Jahwan Edwards showed up in the fall, and Lembo suddenly had an embarrassment of riches at tailback.
We went into the season sort of with a three-headed monster, he recalls. And that may sound like a lot, but at tailback it never is. Its really hard to keep those guys healthy.
And so, even as Edwards emerged (786 yards, 11 touchdowns) as the teams go-to back, Scott (370 yards) had his moments. He scored a touchdown in the season-opening win against Indiana. He cracked 100 yards for the first time in his career with 104 yards in a loss to Western Michigan. And the touchdown he scored breaking his leg helped beat Eastern Michigan.
One of the key plays of the game, Lembo recalls.
He handled it well, Lembo says. It was obviously a blow, but I was proud of the way he handled it. I feel hes back to where he was last fall before he got hurt. Overall Id say its been a pretty good comeback for him.
And again, there is an embarrassment of riches at tailback. In addition to Scott, Edwards and Donigan (191 yards, 2 TDs), redshirts Horactio Banks and Tony Williams have joined the mix, too, which pleases Lembo no end.
Its a neat situation to be in, he admits.
Bring it on, Scott says.
Competition is good, he says. It pushes us. I would say we learn things from each other, and it makes us all better.