LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Oberlin’s 2020 season has been a surprise for many. Despite losing a strong senior class that led the Tigers to the semifinal round last season, Oberlin is off to another strong start at 4-1.
The Tigers needed this senior class to step up and running back Malachai Semien has answered the call.
“From the time he was a freshman I’ve seen him grow" said head coach Durell Peloquin. "Year by year.”
Experience at the senior level is important in high school football, but the younger players stepped up in a big way.
“We lost 12 or 13 seniors last year and nobody believed in us” said senior running back Malachi Semien. "We lost to Oakdale our first game and we were expected to beat them, and nobody really believed in us.”
Semien has been a special weapon of late for Oberlin, as he’s totaled nearly 500 yards for nine touchdowns, including scoring three in the Tigers' 49-20 win over East Beauregard last week.
“I think I did pretty good. Without the offensive line, none of it would be possible" said Semien "They’re pulling, kick out blocks there just there. Fullbacks leading up they provide the hole when I hit it.”
Coach Peloquin was pleased with how often Semien found the end zone against the Trojans.
“He did an outstanding job for us last Friday night" said Peloquin "He can play anywhere on the field offensively as well as on the defensive side of the ball. He’s an exceptionally gifted athlete.”
In addition to his those offensive numbers, Simien’s play as a defensive back has resulted in an interception and five passes defended. His versatility is another testament to his ability to battle adversity.
“We had two hurricanes and we have corona" said Semien "Coach Pels always talking about facing adversity and how we have to live up to it and we just stay disciplined and teach the younger guys about how to stay focused.”
The Tigers look to be in good shape with Simien and fellow senior Aiden Reed leading the way on offense. This Oberlin team is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Tigers before them.
“I just want to make sure we stay disciplined and stay hungry. Don’t settle where we’re at" said Semien "And moving forward for myself I just want to make sure that when I don’t have the ball make sure I’m blocking for others, and just do my job.”