MADISON TOWNSHIP — Kale Huss doesn’t like talking about himself.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Madison’s senior running back to avoid the topic, though. Huss keeps breaking records, and it’s all anybody wants to discuss these days.
Three weeks ago, in a weather-delayed 49-42 win over Wooster, Huss shattered Ed Chelski’s single-game rushing record of 271 yards when he ran for 312 yards and four touchdowns.
That mark stood all of two weeks, when Huss shredded Clear Fork’s defense to the tune of 343 yards and three TDs in a 41-20 win.
Huss needs just 218 yards to pass Nate Whitcomb and become Madison’s single-season rushing leader, but he’d rather not talk about it. Ask him about his teammates, though, and it’s hard to get a word in edgewise.
What does Huss think of first-year quarterback Alex Smith?
“Alex is a player you can count on for anything,” Huss said. “He deserves a lot of credit for our success. He makes good decisions.”
How about halfbacks Dalton Fix and Kalvin Gordon?
“They have both done such a good job blocking. I can’t tell you how many big blocks they’ve gotten this season,” Huss said.
What about receivers Kobi Johnson and Eric Brown?
“We could feature them a lot more if we wanted to,” Huss said. “They deserve a lot of credit because they do what is asked of them and they never complain.”
Huss doesn’t need to be asked about the play of his offensive line before the superlatives start flying.
“Those guys up front are the best around. They make my job easy,” Huss said. “They know their assignments and they carry them out.”
As good as Huss has been –and he has been everything coach Sean Conway expected and then some — he isn’t an army of one. Smith, who took over for the graduated Alek Lampert, has rushed for 562 yards and six touchdowns in Madison’s option attack. Fix and Gordon have combined for 313 yards and six touchdowns.
“The guys we have really complement each other,” said Madison offensive coordinator LeRoy Smith, the former head coach at Mansfield Senior and the quarterback’s father. “Kale was our most experienced guy coming back and he has gotten a lot of carries, but we feel we are more balanced in our running game.”
“Kale is the focal point of our offense, but Alex has done a great job of reading and Kalvin and Dalton bring a lot to the pitch phase of the offense,” Conway said. “We’re lucky to have a lot of options.”
Smith hasn’t been asked to throw a lot, but the senior has completed 51 percent of his attempts for 305 yards. Johnson has 10 catches for 150 yards, while Brown has eight receptions for 85 yards.
“Kale has done a great job for us, but we are able to mix it up if we need to,” Alex Smith said. “Kale is so good at finding the hole. The offensive line just has to give him a small opening.”
Conway, who coached some great tailbacks at nearby Crestview before coming to Madison, said Huss compares favorably with any of his former standouts.
“He is on the same level as Ryan O’Dell or Hunter Reed or Mason Minnich,” Conway said. “The thing that really sticks out with Kale is his heart.
“He’s like Rocky Balboa. He’s all guts. If he gets knocked down, there is never a doubt in my mind that he is going to pick himself back up.”
Huss is also Madison’s leading tackler with 81 stops from his safety spot. Does he ever tire?
“I feel pretty good,” Huss said. “It’s late in the year, so I’m used to it by now.”
The Rams (6-1, 3-1 Ohio Cardinal Conference) visit Orrville (1-6, 0-4) on Friday before two huge showdowns to end the regular season. Madison hosts Ashland in Week 9 before crosstown rival Mansfield Senior invades Ram Field for a Week 10 showdown that could determine the OCC title.
“We’ve got a couple of big games coming up at the end of the year, but our full attention is on Orrville right now,” Huss said. “We can’t afford to overlook them. They came to our place last year and beat us and that was one of the losses that kept us out of the playoffs.
“We’re focused on Orrville now. After this week we can worry about Ashland.”
Rest assured that OCC opponents are worried about Madison’s unassuming star.