With Dylan Rebura having nursed an ankle injury at Nixa practices most of this month and at Friday’s jamboree, it has meant more reps at running back for the likes of Kevon Lewis.
Lewis is hoping Rebura can return in time for the Eagles' opener versus Webb City on Friday.
“I hope to see (the field) as much as possible,” Lewis said. “But I don't pray on Dylan's downfall. He's going to come back and I wish he is stronger than ever.”
Regardless, Lewis figures to have his number called on a weekly basis, particularly in short-yardage situations. Good luck to defenses trying to deny the 5-foot-10, 210-pound senior some sort of forward progress.
“I'd embrace it and make the most of it,” Lewis said of being the ‘back Nixa goes to for a first down. “If (coaches) need me, I'm going to try to get as much yardage as I can.”
Lewis raised intrigue about his potential with each carry he received last season. He ran the ball 15 times for 103 yards, or an average of 6.9 yards a carry. His longest run was 23 yards and he reached the end zone once.
Lewis looks every bit the part of a bullish running back. He combines his power with deceivingly good quickness.
If the Eagles have a secret weapon, he’s it.
Lewis already has endeared himself to enough onlookers that he draws comparisons to former Notre Dame, Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis. Lewis knows all about ‘Bus,' even though Bettis retired in 2006.
“That’s before my time,” Lewis said. “But I watch highlights all the time.”
Lewis’ running style tests his durability to the max. He suffered a meniscus injury his freshman year and has grown accustomed to bumps and bruises.
“The first person isn't bringing me down, so they keep on coming and coming,” Lewis said. “It's the second and third hit that hurt. It takes a toll on me. But I've got to keep on going — get five yards on fourth-and-five.”
Lewis’ first name is pronounced Kee-vawn, but he’ll grudgingly answer to Kevin, given how many times he hears it.
"I get Kevin a lot, once every day at least," he said.
Likewise, Nixa junior wide receiver Keivon Flint also is often called Kevin.
“I was coming into my eighth-grade year and (classmates) were telling me about another Kevon,” Lewis said. “His name has got an ‘I’ in it. I was like, 'That can't be right, my name is too unique for there to be another Kevon.’”
EAGLES NOTES: Senior running back Malachi Ridder had two rushing touchdowns on jamboree night. …
Quarterbacks Nate Uber and Drew Blevins split reps with the first-team offense. Uber started against Kickapoo and Blevins started against Ozark. Uber connected with wide receiver Wyatt Vincent for a 35-yard pass and Blevins unleashed a tight spiral on each of his passes. …
Sophomore quarterback Maddox Gibson threw a 25-yard touchdown pass. …
Safety Spencer Ward turned in an interception. …
Nixa’s depth could be a difference-maker over the course of the season, particularly if any injuries occur. The Eagles received quality play from their second- and third-teamers on both sides of the ball.