JACKSBORO, Tenn. (WATE) — Campbell County running back C.J. Allen is the Friday Frenzy Player of the Week.
The Campbell County Cougars are 4-0 for just the second time in program history. While Friday nights are a total team effort, running the ball through senior C.J. Allen definitely helps.
“He’s the pulse of our team and our program right now,” said Assistant Head Coach Matt Price. “When he’s going, we’re all going.”
But that is not how Allen views himself. The running back could care less about the big numbers he is putting up this season, instead, he is focused solely on winning.
“Stats are cool and all but that’ll come with it. I just want to win,” said Allen. “Do what it takes to win, if that means 50 yards, one touchdown and letting the wide receivers do their thing; then that’s what it takes.”
The Cougars are historically a “pass-first team,” but with Allen in the backfield, the Cougars are multidimensional — running a balanced attack.
“We have a great quarterback in Hunter White but what it’s allowed us to do is teams can’t take away one thing or the other,” said Price.
Allen’s ability to run the ball, block, and ability to catch passes has allowed the Cougars coaching staff to diversify their playcalling on offense. “He runs it well with authority and he’ll make the cut when he needs to but he’s also a great receiver out of the backfield as well,” said Price. “For us, a lot of things that we do revolve around him because of his versatility.”
Allen plays both ways for the Cougars, dueling as a safety. However, his passion for the game stems from running the rock. “Just running the ball is something different,” said Allen. “It’s like time slows down when I’m running it, it’s insane.”
What he may lack in speed and size he makes up for in his vision at the line of scrimmage. “I can see this hole opening before it actually does and I can take advantage of that,” said Allen.
A three-year starter, Allen is described as a natural-born leader who sets the precedent by working hard both on and off of the field. “C.J. is just a first-class student-athlete for our high school and he represents our community very well on and off of the field,” said Coach Price. “We’re just lucky and thankful he’s on our team.”
“He takes care of other people and it shows on Friday nights,” said quarterback Hunter White. “He takes care of everybody, he’s an awesome guy.”
The Cougars have played three total games with their week three win credited as a “COVID” win. Through those three contests this season, Allen has carried the ball 73 total times, rushing for 467 yards and 7 touchdowns while also making 4 catches for 43 yards and a touchdown through the air.
But it was Allen’s stellar performance in week three that earned him Friday Frenzy Player of the Week for the second straight year. Allen rushed for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns on 40 carries, while also making 2 catches for 24 yards and his first touchdown reception of the season in the Cougars’ week three win over Morristown-East.
“He was hot and he was working,” Price recalled from last Friday’s game. “Our Head Coach Justin [Price] was like, ‘Let’s just keep giving him the ball,’ and he was fresh and our o-line did a great job blocking for him.”
“We should expect to win because we work hard every day it’s not, ‘Oh, we got 300 yards,'” said Allen. “It’s we came here last week and put the work in, so you Reap what you Sew.”
The Cougars now prepare to open division play against Karns on Friday, looking for revenge from last year’s game that was decided by a mere two points. “They beat us on T.V. so I think we got a little bit of a chip on our shoulders,” said White. “I expect our guys to come out and play with confidence being 4-0, but I expect them [Karns] to give us a really good game too.”