Hightower gains ground with over 1,000 yards for season
Marcus Fitzsimmons of The Daily Times Staff   
Published: November 11, 2007

Maryville College running back Rommel Hightower might have well carried an eraser in his back pocket Saturday. The sophomore from Lenoir City ran through Averett for 150 yards and two scores on 26 carries during the Scots 43-6 victory and rewrote the MC record book - again. Hightower moved to second place on the school's single-season rushing list with 1,016 yards, surpassing Kevin Skipper (1,008 - 1980) and Rodney Stephens (1,004 - 1973) to become only the fourth rusher in MC's modern history to grab a grand.

"He's got a good mixture of speed and strength and those yards weren't easy today. I'm proud he got 1,000 yards. I'd hoped we could get him loose early so he'd have a chance at the all-time record but they were playing pretty tough," said MC head coach Tony Ierulli.

As it was Hightower was 55 yards shy of tying Armand Akiboh's 1,069 yard total from 1996 and now trails only Albert Nance (2,502 1976-79) for career rushing yards with 1,689.

Not only did the sophomore cross the grand plateau but he also tied his own school record for rushing touchdowns in a season (11) with his 8-yard scoring run on a toss sweep to the home sideline in the third quarter. The same run that put him over 1,000 yards.

His last run - a 6-yarder in the fourth - put Hightower atop the pile for carries in a season with 222, surpassing Skipper's mark of 206.

But with all the records and attention, Hightower pointed to his teammates, especially the offensive front.

"They had a lot heart for me and as I have for them," the sophomore said. "They wanted me to be successful and for the team to be succesful and that showed."