Running backs rule this week's PA All-State stock watch

Each week, we’ll take an in-depth look at our All-State preseason football team and let you know how a few of those athletes are faring as the season progresses.

It's early in the season, quarterbacks don't always have their timing down just yet, and that means early in the season, running backs often lead the way. That's especially true this week as we put together our All-State football stock watch. There were some excellent individual performances this week — even our "Stock Down" athlete put up some pretty impressive numbers given the circumstance.


UP — Drew Harris, Downingtown East, RB

Harris started his season with a bang by rushing for 219 yards and finding the end zone three times, leading Downingtown East to a huge 62-41 win over reigning Class AAA champ Allentown Central Catholic. Down 27-25 at halftime, the Cougars rallied to score the next 30 points in a row. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the senior had the fifth-most yards in Southeastern PA in the first week of the season (the Inquirer incorrectly lists his output at 216 yards and four scores).

DOWN — Rushel Shell, Hopewell, RB

Only Rushel Shell could rush for 143 yards and have it be a down week. But Shell was well contained by Belle Vernon for most of the game (19 yards in the first half) until he broke off a 66-yard touchdown run late in the game. Belle Vernon's size and the heat and humidity both took their toll on Shell — he came out of the game twice with cramps in his legs and shoulder. But in the end, the star senior did enough to give his team a 14-7 victory. For most running backs, 143 yards and the game-winning score is a great day. That's just a testament to how great Shell has been over his career.

UP — Desmon and Brandon Peoples, Archbishop Wood, RBs

Archbishop Wood may have fallen in their contest against Pittsburgh Central Catholic this weekend, but if anything the game showed Wood is going to be extremely competitive this year. And the Peoples cousins were a big reason why. The star rushers helped Wood combine for 226 rushing yards on 43 carries in the game as Wood nearly escaped before falling, 20-17.