Despite dealing with two ankle injuries and being forced out of action earlier this season with one of the injuries, Benjamin Tate has been masterful at the tailback position for Maryland's Snow Hill High in his senior season.
The talented back, who possesses a rare combination of size, speed, vision and strength, has led his team to an 11-1 record and a spot in the state semi-finals this weekend against defending 1A state champ Dunbar High. On the year he has 1,786 rushing yards and 19 TDs on just 128 carries.
The Eagles fought their way back from a 14-0 deficit in the 1A East Regional Championship game versus Elkton behind 171 yards and two long TD runs from Tate to take a 41-24 win. Along with his output on the offensive side of the ball, the talented back also forced a fumble and intercepted a pass on defense in the victory.
Benjamin Tate and Snow Hill are two wins away from Maryland's 1A state title.
In Louisiana, Steven Ensminger led the charge from under center for his West Monroe team as it defeated a tough Destrehan team 49-27 to move on to the state semi-finals. Ensminger hit 13-18 passes for 210 yards and three TDs in the win.
West Monroe is 12-1 going into its Friday Class 5A home matchup vs. unbeaten Catholic of Baton Rouge. "I am really enjoying the season," Ensminger tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "On offense we are averaging around 40 points per game and on defense we are only allowing six or seven points per game."
Moving east to the Peach State, Chris Slaughter has been a marked man all season and that did not change in Peach County's semi-final game against defending state champion LaGrange. Slaughter's first catch of the ball game came on an interception. However, the first touch led to his second as he turned the pick into a TD reception on the ensuing drive. That score was Slaughter's 22nd of the season, which ties the school record that is held by current Minnesota Vikings player Marcus Robinson.
In the game, the Trojans turned up the intensity after halftime and took home a 35-17 win to move on to the state finals against Dougherty.
Chris Slaughter and Peach County have really turned their season around after an 0-3 start.
Heading back west to Mississippi, Hendrick Leverette's Oak Grove team that has been crushing opponents all season finally turned in a less than dominating performance against a tough Ocean Springs team. However, the Warriors were able to come up with the plays when they needed them to take a 28-16 win.
Leverette, who plays both offense and defense, punched in two of the scores from his tailback spot. On Friday, the Warriors will head to Meridian for a rematch against Cordera Eason and the Wildcats in the AAAAA semi-finals.