published Monday, October 8th, 2012

Kelvin Wells Jr. runs carry McMinn County Cherokees


by Holly Cowart
Kelvin Wells Jr.
Kelvin Wells Jr.

While his coaching was out mowing the football field Sunday afternoon, Kelvin Wells Jr. likely had a more leisurely day.

He might still have been recovering from a breathtaking Friday evening effort that earned him Times Free Press Player of the Week honors.

"I figured if we were going to have a player of the week this would be the one," McMinn County coach Bo Cagle said. "He pretty much put us on his back and carried us. He had a monstrous game, the best single-person game we've had since I've been here."

Wells carried the ball 22 times and gained 316 yards while scoring two touchdowns as the Cherokees pulled out a key District 5-AAA win, 26-21 over Cleveland.

The effort pushed his season numbers well over the thousand-yard mark, giving him 1,052 through seven games with a per-carry average of 9.62 yards.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder might have even more yardage but he shares the offensive rushing load with Dre Sanders, who added 118 yards against the Blue Raiders.

"It's surprising but they're within a carry of each other for the season, and I promise we don't even think about [keeping carries even]. We just call the play we think will work," Cagle said.

The coach was unsure if it was a school record because the Cherokees also turned out a monster back in Hubert Simpson, who went on to star for the University of Tennessee.

"They were Simpson-like numbers, and I think Hubert would have been proud of him," Cagle said. "If it isn't a school record it has to be close."

Wells hasn't had many college offers but Cagle said part of that might be the fact that Wells transferred in prior to this season (from Walker Valley).

"Oh, he's good enough to play at the next level, at least the FCS (Division I-AA) level. You can't teach speed and strength," Cagle said. "He has a knack for running downhill, and on Friday he put his head down and ran hard from start to finish for every single inch.

"He wanted the ball and when he got it he wasn't going to have any negative yards."

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