5 running backs who could be difference-makers for Dallas-area playoff teams

Another week of playoff high school football will eliminate high profile teams and lead others to state championship runs. Teams with explosive running games have an advantage in terms of long scoring drives and watch management, and there are still plenty of local top players.

Here are five races in the Dallas area that could be important to their teams as they pursue a national title.

Damien Martinez, Lewisville

Check out Martinez first, as he and Lewisville (7-3) will be on duty in an intense 6A Division I matchup against Arlington Martin (9-1) on Thursday night.

Martinez leads the 6A area by a wide margin, recording 218 rushes for 1,924 yards and 30 touchdowns so far this season. Martinez could well cross the 2,000-yard mark against Arlington Martin, but his team may need more to get past a high-profile Arlington Martin group.

Malachi Medlock, Duncanville

Medlock and Duncanville (7-1) have a Saturday game against Skyline (5-3) that should be preferred to win, but Medlock can make it even harder for Skyline with a big game.

Medlock started his playoffs strong against Killeen Harker Heights on December 10th. In a game Duncanville won 60-14, he recorded 89 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

Skyline was effective with his run defense in the first round of the 6A playoffs against Sachse. Sachse had a total of 75 rushing yards from three different ball carriers. A strong game from Medlock would put Skyline on its heels.

Tito Byce, Argyle

Argyle (15-0) and Byce have a 4A Division I state championship date with Lindale (14-2) on Friday, and one big game from the return could secure a title. Byce has 13 quick touchdowns on 98 rushes for 869 yards. The stats aren’t as mind-boggling as those of a man like Martinez, but with Argyle quarterback CJ Rogers running 45 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 yards, Byce helped make that happen with a consistent running game.

RELATED READING: 4A Division I State Championship Preview

Owen Allen, Southlake Carroll

An 8-2 Permian team will face Owen and Southlake Carroll (8-1) on Friday afternoon. Owen is back in the middle of a big season with the third most shipyards of all 6A territories at 1,408. He paired that with 21 roaring touchdowns, just behind Martinez.

Southlake Carroll, who did without star quarterback Quinn Ewers, is no stranger to knocking out good teams in the playoffs, and Allen could again be a catalyst for that.

DQ James, Lancaster

Both Lancaster (9-0) and Longview (8-2) had great defensive performances in the opening round of the 5A Division I playoffs last week. Neither team gave up double-digit points, but James could change that for Longview if it can’t handle Lancaster’s running game.

James leads Area 5A with 20 touchdowns this season but made it to 70 rushes with far fewer tries than the next one – Jared White with Frisco Wakeland has 16 touchdowns at 180 rushes.

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