Lemoine picks up where Lavan left off at Elton

By By Troy LaFleur / American Press

ELTON — Before the football season

began not many people knew who Marcus Lemoine was. The junior-to-be at

Elton High School

had served his time on the field for the Indians, starting as a

sophomore with most of his reps coming at wide receiver and

defensive back.

Lemoine was forced to wait patiently as Micah Lavan, an all-state performer at both running back and linebacker, consumed

the glory, but this preseason Lemoine answered the call to take over at running back and hasn’t looked back since.

“Marcus played a lot of receiver last

year,” said Elton head coach Doyle Carter. “We used him a little bit at

running back,

but he mostly played receiver and defense. We knew all along that

Marcus would eventually move to running back, but we had

Micah Lavan the last two years. It was good, though, because he

needed to mature a little bit, and he is more than ready now.”

Lemoine started the season with a few

solid performances and a 256-yard outing against Delcambre before

bursting onto the

scene in Week 4 with a state-high 331 rushing yards and four

touchdowns against new District 4-1A rivals Grand Lake. In the

three games since he has rushed for 747 yards and six touchdowns,

bringing him to a season total 1,509 yards and 16 TDs on

181 carries.

His total ranks him No. 1 in the state, averaging 215.6 yards per game and 8.34 yards per carry.

“Marcus has got great vision and the

speed to be able to break away, but once defenders make contact he is

able to keep pushing

forward for extra yardage, and a lot of backs just don’t have

that,” Carter said. “I know whenever I call his number, we will

always have a chance.”

Senior Scott Ross went down in Week 2 with a knee injury, and wasn’t the only Indian bitten by the injury bug. Carter said

Elton hasn’t fielded the same starting offensive line more than once seven games.

Thanks to the abundance of injuries, opposing defenses have been able to scheme to stop Lemoine, but to no avail.

“Opposing teams have been putting seven or eight guys in the box to try and stop Marcus, but credit to our offensive line

for helping handle it and Marcus for running so hard,” Carter said.

With his prominent role in the offense has come another job title for Lemoine, that of being a team leader. The role, usually

delegated to the quarterback in most situations, is one that the junior has taken with pride.

“At the beginning of the season we had a bunch of people go down with injuries, so everyone started to look to me,” Lemoine

said. “I was already having to fill some big shoes replacing Micah Lavan, so I have had to step up big.”

Being the state’s leading rusher and the team leader has been no easy task for Lemoine, and fortunately Lemoine has someone

to talk to that has been in a similar situation before — his first cousin and Grambling State starting running back Cedric

Skinner.

Skinner is best known in Southwest Louisiana for his exploits at Oberlin, where he rushed for a state record 3,437 yards and

47 touchdowns in his senior season when he led the Tigers to the Class 1A state semifinals.

“After I have a big game, I talk to him and he always tells me to keep doing what I am doing,” Lemoine said. “I have asked

him how he handled all the pressure and how he dealt with it in Oberlin and he helps me out with it.”

While Lemoine admits to being caught up in a family competition and hoping to top Skinner’s rushing totals, he is focused

on finishing the season strong and achieving his goals.

“I plan on rushing for 2,000 yards and

hopefully even more than that, and I am hoping to be all-state this

year,” Lemoine

said. “I want finish this season with a winning record and coming

back next year faster and stronger, and have another winning

season. After my senior season I plan on going to college and

playing and hopefully one day make it to the next level.”

Lemoine will look to extend his lead atop the state rushing list this week when he and the Indians (3-4, 2-2) travel to Creole

to face the South Cameron Tarpons (2-5, 1-3).