SUMMERVILLE, Ga. — It's likely that Isaiah and Isaac Foster never will appear on any major college's list of football recruits.
Sheer numbers alone should get the Chattooga High School twin stars some next-level notice, but those "other" numbers, the ones that have nothing to do with on-field performance, work heavily against them.
Five-foot-9, 160-pound football players are a dime a dozen, right?
Chattooga coach Charlie Hammon would kindly disagree, at least where his guys are concerned. The two juniors have combined for 2,500 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns for the 7-3 Indians, who play at Class AA powerhouse Lovett School tonight in the opening round of the GHSA playoffs.
They are option A, B, C and D in the Chattooga power-run game, and though every opposing defensive coach knows it and every defense is stacked to stop them, getting it done is, well, a different story.
"They are the heart and soul of that Chattooga team," said Dade County coach Bradley Warren, whose team lost an 8-7 heartbreaker when Isaiah Foster scored a touchdown and ran in the two-point conversion with a minute to play. "As a coach you just enjoy watching kids who play that hard."
OK, so they're small, but they must be really fast, right? Nope, each clocks in at 4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash — good speed for prep football but not elite. So what is the secret to the twins' success? According to Hammon, it's good old-fashioned hard work and desire.
"Now, they have talent, but to me it's 60 percent work ethic," he said of the pair, who also start in the secondary. "For example, as freshmen they each could power-clean 170 (pounds) and now they're at 230. They just play hard, they practice hard and they train hard.
"Their desire to win is unlike anything I've seen."
Sure enough, ask the twins what makes them tick and it quickly becomes clear.
"We hate losing," said Isaiah, who is in the top 10 in the state in rushing with 1,482 yards. "And when we do lose it's motivating and we focus even harder on winning the next game. We've always just played hard. I don't know any other way to do it."
The two even enjoy the respect shown them when teams focus all their energy on stopping them, and they're quick to deflect praise to their teammates.
"It's fun sometimes knowing that even though teams know we're going to have the ball to be able to produce numbers like we have," said quarterback Isaac. "Really, the key is our line. They do a really good job and take the pressure off us. We just have to hit the holes."
The other key ingredient to the twins' and the team's success is an intangible every good team needs — leadership. That goes beyond 100-yard games and touchdowns.
"They are two high-character kids," Dade's Warren said. "One of their players was hurt the other night in our game, and our players took a knee out of respect. One of them came over to me and said he appreciated the sportsmanship because he saw one of our kids praying for his player. He didn't have to do that, and it says a lot about the kind of kids they are."
On the field the Fosters helped the Indians post their first winning season in six years. The last winning season ended with a 45-7 loss to Lovett in the first round of the playoffs. Can this year end differently?
"I know these guys are still experiencing a lot of firsts, and experience is a key in the playoffs, but I know they aren't intimidated by anyone," Hammon said. "This team will give it everything Friday, and they'll have fun doing it. I couldn't ask for more."
Contact Lindsey Young at email@example.com or 423-757-6296; follow on Twitter @youngsports22.