“It was kind of what people thought I would be,” Cusack says of playing running back. “I tried it out, and it worked. It was just natural, I guess. Breaking free, no one in front of me — it’s the best.”
“When we played in youth, trying to tackle him was impossible,” Francis says of his childhood friend. “One person can not bring him down. He makes the moves so that you have to grab on and hope someone else comes in to finish him off.”
After posting a 3-3 record during the non-league season, the Clippers have returned senior quarterback Connor Wile from injury and have gone 2-0 in the league. But tomorrow signals their biggest Division 3 test, which also happens to feature a strong rushing game behind running back Cody Rothwell (120 carries, 1,023 yards, 16 touchdowns).
“We’re excited, more so than any other game so far,” Cusack says of the Pentucket game. “We’ve got some beefs on the teams. We know some kids from the running camp over the summer. We’re friends with some of them. Me and Rothwell have got a little thing going here. It’s going to be a battle.”
Cusack says that he sees the path to victory on Friday as a simple one, shutting down Rothwell. But the Sachems will be looking to shut Cusack down as well.
“I won’t let it happen,” Cusack says. “I’ve got my big guys up front, they won’t let it happen. I’m going to do whatever it takes.”
“Both guys are going to get the ball,” Gaudiano says of the Cusack/Rothwell match up. “If you look at Pentucket and what they’ve done over the course of the season, which is putting it on (Rothwell’s) back. You can kind of say the same thing about Tyler. But I think we pull a little heat off of him by moving Sam into fullback. So, hopefully we kind of have a little one-two punch. But Pentucket gives the ball to the fullback too. So I guess, in that way, we’re similar.”