There’s no doubt that Seth Beckner was good as a junior.
The Carthage Tigers running back rushed for 1,662 yards and 23 touchdowns on 200 carries to earn Class 4 all-state honors.
However, Beckner has taken his game to a new level as a senior.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound running back has registered 2,088 yards of total offense and 27 touchdowns. He has helped the Tigers go 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the Central Ozark Conference Large Division.
“He had a great year last year, but a year of experience under his belt was huge,” Carthage coach Jon Guidie said. “He understands the system a lot better this year. That one year of experience from the backfield really paid off.”
The Tigers have been able to take advantage of Beckner’s speed and shiftiness. Beckner has rushed for 1,446 yards and 18 touchdowns on only 159 carries.
“He’s pretty quick,” Guidie said. “He’s elusive. He’s got great vision and he can cut on a dime. When he gets in the open field, he’s very good.”
Beckner also is effective as a receiver, catching 20 balls for 642 yards and nine touchdowns.
“He’s got great hands,” Guidie said. “He started as a sophomore at receiver for us, so we knew he could catch the ball a little bit. With his speed, it only makes sense to get him out on the edge and let him run some routes.”
Beckner follows a long line of recent running backs to find success at Carthage. Jonathan Taylor, Caleb Sanders, current Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College defensive back Devron Moore and current Pittsburg State running back Brian Poston all posted solid numbers for the Tigers.
“We’ve had some good ones here,” Guidie said. “Those guys are players. They have done a lot of good things for our program. And Seth is following in line with a lot of great kids.”
Beckner said a lot of the credit goes to an offensive line that is helping the Tigers rush for about 250 yards a game. In addition to Beckner, running back Cameron Priester has added 489 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 55 carries.
“Our line is great,” Beckner said. “They know how to get off the ball good and stay low and push them forward.”
The play of the line will be key on offense and defense when the Tigers face Willard (3-5, 2-4 COC Large) at home on Friday night.
“Willard gives you a lot of different looks defensively, so we’re trying to cut down our offensive package a little bit so that we can zero in on some things,” Guidie said. “Our offensive line needs to be sure on the different fronts they may see. That’s No. 1.
“No. 2 is that they are very big and very physical, and we have to do a good job of getting off blocks and making plays defensively.”