Name: Ryan Torrance
School: Ligonier Valley
Torrance’s week: A tough-as-nails running back/line-backer, Torrance played a key role in Ligonier Valley’s physically dominant 43-18 non-conference win at Windber last Friday.
Torrance finished with 23 carries for 187 yards and touchdown runs of 11, 16 and 11 yards.
He also had six tackles as the Rams’ defense limited Windber’s potent run game to 24 rushing yards. The Ramblers were averaging 279.6 rushing yards per game before playing unbeaten Ligonier Valley (5-0).
Ligonier Valley’s run game was so successful against Windber, the Rams attempted only five passes.
“We didn’t know what to expect heading there. Coach (Roger Beitel) decided we didn’t want to throw because we could beat them on the ground,” Torrance said. “We were really blowing people off the ball.”
Challenge answered: Torrance rushed for 1,200 yards as a junior, but Beitel believed his primary ball carrier was capable of a better senior season.
“I challenged him to run angry, and he’s been able to do that,” Beitel said. “I don’t know how to describe him. He runs over your face. He’s fast enough, and he he has a strange shiftiness. He doesn’t want to be stopped.”
Or let anyone down.
“(Beitel) challenged me to run with the will to never be tackled,” Torrance said. “When Coach pushes you to have success, you want to prove him right.”
So, Torrance’s teammates spend the week getting the 5-foot-9, 189-pound two-way starter prepared.
“My friends take care of that every week. They’re pretty good at getting me pumped up and angry,” Torrance said. “They’ll ma fun of me, tell me I’m soft or call me ‘Twinkle toes.’ They’ll pick a guy on the other team and tell me he’s going to be all over me.”
Torrance, who is receiving interest from Washington & Jefferson, Westminster and Shippensburg, has rushed for 789 yards on 83 carries with an area-leading 16 touchdowns and 100 points.
Ouch, that hurt: Ligonier Valley lost to Richland in the first round of the Class AA playoffs last year. In that game, Torrance had a muscle tear off the bone near his hip.
Torrance continued to play.
“That was a rough game. It happened late in the first quarter and it’s hard to tell somebody after you’ve worked hard all year,” Torrance said. “I tried to tough it out, but every play was getting harder and harder. By the third quarter, I finally said something and (Beitel) said it wasn’t worth getting hurt any worse.”
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