The ability to change one’s direction quickly is an essential ingredient for a football player. In the game that mixes speed, power and deception, often in equal parts, being a master of disguise doesn’t hurt either.
Centerville (Texas) High School defensive end Tristan Rudell mixed all those ingredients into one of the more complete interception returns for a touchdown you will ever see during last Friday night’s Class 2A area playoff game against Tenaha (Texas).
How about the classic transition from keeping his defensive line contain, to becoming a defensive back? And from there, it was a one-man effort as Rudell turned into the tight end he is on the other side of the ball. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Rudell breaks the initial two tackle attempts, then rumbles to the end zone with his cavalry alongside for the 75-yard score.
Unfortunately for Rudell’s Centerville Tigers, Tenaha went on to win the game, 41-38. That doesn’t take away from an impressive singular effort, a change of direction that had to make his coaches smile.