By Bobby Mathews, sports editor
LEEDS — In an area stuffed with good running backs, it can be easy to overlook Leeds senior halfback Rametrius Yelverton.
He’s 5-6 and 157 pounds. But he runs like nobody’s business, and he’s a major reason Leeds is ranked No. 4 in Class 5A and has a 4-0 record.
It’s impossible to discount Yelverton’s importance to the Green Wave. Friday night against a tough Moody team, Yelverton put Leeds on his back and led his team to a 33-19 win, racking up 162 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
“That’s just what we do,” Yelverton told reporters after the game. “We just win.”
The Green Wave does, in fact, just win. And Yelverton running behind a strong, physical Green Wave front line is one of those reasons.
“I just told my boys to give me a little push, and it was money time,” he said. “Give me three seconds, and I’m gone.”
Yelverton did what all great players do: He stepped up when his team needed it. Against a Moody squad that is the best team the Blue Devils have fielded in more than a generation, Yelverton was nearly unstoppable.
Moody allowed 15 points per game coming into the Battle of the Bridge. By the end of the night, Yelverton himself was responsible for nearly half of the Green Wave’s rushing yards.
The senior has been a difference-maker for Leeds all season. In week 0, he helped the Green Wave come back from a 14-0 deficit to down Sylacauga, 40-20. Yelverton had 123 yards — 115 of them after halftime — and two touchdowns against the Aggies.
He added 93 yards on 21 carries on the road against Pell City to help Leeds to a 2-0 record. And again on the road, this time against Lincoln, Yelverton simply was the Green Wave’s offense. He had 147 yards of total offense and scored all three touchdowns in Leeds’ come-from-behind 19-13 victory.
In many ways, Yelverton embodies the Green Wave: the work ethic, the refusal to quit, the nose-to-the-grindstone get-it-done attitude. That’s why he’s The Tribune’s Player of the Week.
Others considered for Player of the Week this week include: Moody’s A.J. Wallace, Center Point’s Troy Bruce, Hewitt-Trussville’s Ryan Shoop, Clay-Chalkville’s Ed Osley and Pinson Valley’s Mike Sharpe.
The Tribune’s Player of the Week is sponsored by OrthoAlabama Spine & Sports.