Malachi Imoh, No. 16 William & Mary racing game leader


Malachi Imoh’s depiction of the William & Mary running backs sounds more like something out of a Marvel Comics movie than a football movie.

Why not? At 241 rushing yards per game — first in the Colonial Athletic Association and sixth nationally — the backs are something of a superhero for the No. 16 Tribe (4-1), which will host No. 6 Delaware ( 5-0) Saturday in a big CAA game at Zable Stadium.

“With all the talent we have, it comes with a lot of responsibility,” said Imoh, a 5-foot-8, 185-pound sophomore whose lyrics are reminiscent of advice given to Spider-Man. “Because we are so talented, we are expected to play well every week.

“We take that into account, whether it’s preparing for the week by watching an extra movie or getting extra meeting time. All the talent creates a lot of opportunities for us on the pitch and a lot of responsibility to be living up to the high standards we set for ourselves.

With Bronson Yoder, Donavyn Lester and Martin Lucas – the other three stars of the tribe – all sidelined, the responsibility of heading the ball fell primarily to Imoh on Saturday. He rushed for 128 yards, four receptions for 30 yards and three touchdown passes in the second half to lead the Tribe to a 27-10 win at Stony Brook.

“It helps you get a bit of rhythm,” Imoh said of the 21 runs that topped 20 in his previous three games combined. “Most people will tell you, ‘the more you are in the game, the more you get into the flow.’

“It gives me confidence that, if I’m needed and called, I can somehow step in and fill the void.”

When the running group is full, Imoh is more likely to get around six or seven carries and two or three receptions. He makes the most of it.

Imoh ranks sixth nationally with eight touchdowns. His seven rushing touchdowns rank him seventh nationally and he’s third in the nation with 12 points per game (he was ruled out for the win over Lafayette due to injury).

The son of West Point graduate James Imoh and Marie Imoh, who was also in the military, Imoh brings a discipline, work ethic and selflessness that makes sharing playing time natural. Additionally, he expresses deep respect for each field mate.

On Yoder, ranked sixth nationally with 158 all-purpose yards per game: “You rarely see one, or even two, tackles defeat him,” Imoh said.

On Lester, who averages almost 8 yards per carry: “He’s a bigger running back (6-2, 210) and he has the ability to cut and go the distance every time” , Imoh said.

On Lucas, a freshman who carried 13 times for 91 yards with Imoh out for the game against Lafayette: “He’s a huge running back (6-2, 235) who drops his shoulder pads, runs behind his blockers and takes some defenders with him. when he’s in space,” Imoh said.

Imoh, the tribe’s fastest player, is one of its most dangerous in space. His 10 receptions (for 68 yards and a TD) are as many as the other three running backs combined.

Despite all his superpowers, even he needs help occasionally. Left tackle Charles Grant literally lifted and threw Imoh into the end zone when he stumbled on 1 on his 10-yard touchdown run at Stony Brook.

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That gave the Tribe the lead for good late in the third quarter before adding 2 and 28-yard TD runs in the fourth to help tidy up the game. If he returns to the player role after his turn as a superhero, that will suit Imoh just fine.

Its main goal is for the racing game Tribe to be the best in CAA every week.

“It’s easier when you have a room full of guys who don’t care who gets the credit and just want to win,” said Tribe coach Mike London. “Collectively they are a group of guys who want to win and will play whatever part they can to facilitate that.

“So it’s a great venue and a great group of guys to be around.”

Who: No. 6 Delaware (5-0) vs. No. 16 William & Mary (4-1)

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

On air : Cox Yurview Virginia, 92.3FM


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