By now, southern Mecklenburg football followers are accustomed to seeing eye-popping statistics from Charlotte Catholic running back Elijah Hood. In last Friday’s 49-18 playoff victory over Kannapolis A.L. Brown, however, the junior star finished with some historic totals.
While rushing for six touchdowns (to go with his 286 yards on 29 carries), Hood set the county record for touchdowns in a single season with 45. The six touchdowns also tied the county mark for single-game trips to the end zone.
Cougars coach Jim Oddo could only laugh and shake his head when asked about Hood’s accomplishment after the game.
“He breaks some records every time he plays,” Oddo said. “He’s special. He really is. He just refuses to go down.”
Hood also was in the game on defense after A.L. Brown scored a touchdown and recovered the ensuing onsides kick late in the game. Playing linebacker, Hood was in on a tackle and recovered a fumble. Moments later, he jetted for a 60-yard touchdown to put the game effectively on ice.
The Cougars travel to Statesville on Friday, Nov. 23, for a Class 3AA state semifinal matchup. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Hood, of course, is expected to play a pivotal role.
Hood now is poised to climb in the state record books. His 45 rushing touchdowns rank fourth all-time on the state’s single-season list. Hood, who is averaging roughly 3.5 touchdowns per game, could move into third place this week, ahead of former Garner and N.C. State running back Anthony Barber, who had 47 rushing touchdowns in 1987.
And while he was dominant during the regular season, Hood has been especially potent in the playoffs. In three postseason games, Hood has amassed 866 yards. Averaging 220 yards per game this year (and 289 per game in the postseason), Hood easily could surpass 1,000 yards in the playoffs alone, which would put him beyond 3,000 on the season. Hood currently has 2,855 yards.