Depth at running back drives Tigers

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Elmwood Park’s rotation of quality runners has given opponents fits so far this season.

“We have a nice group of backs,” Tigers head football coach Luis Arroyo said. “It’s very nice to be able to keep fresh legs through the game because we like to run the ball. A lot of guys go both ways, so if one of the guys goes on a long run, I can get someone else in there. Fresh legs also keep the defense on their heels.”

Seniors Carlos Sandoval, David Benavidez, Geno Cadetto, Rocco Fanella and Jimmy Gonzalez comprise the running back corps.

“We just take advantage of our opportunities a lot,” Sandoval said. “We have a lot of guys who can do the same job. I feel each guy has the same ability as everyone. We just try to put forth our best effort to win, and we all take the glory, not just one individual.”

Sandoval and Benavidez each broke the century mark in the Tigers’ 42-28 win over arch-rival Ridgewood on Friday night.

Sandoval ran for 124 yards. He also had TD catches of 68 and 29 yards to go along with an interception return for a score. Benavidez rattled off 103 yards on 16 carries while Gonzalez ran 67 yards on five attempts and a touchdown.

Elmwood Park (3-1) is just a couple weeks removed from gaining over 400 yards on the ground in a 55-9 win at Guerin. The Tigers will try carry their momentum into their home game against Glenbard South on Friday night and avenge last year’s 35-21 loss.

“When teammates make a play it lifts up all of us,” Benavidez said. “We work hard in practice, and we feel we all deserve to play. When I go in, I know what I have to do. Our bond gets stronger each game. We have to be focused and ready to play every play. Last year I noticed we weren’t always focused. We’d fool around in practice. This year, we’re amped up.” ~.

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