By Mike Mattson
Local Sports Journal

DeOntay Moffett

DeOntay Moffett

Mona Shores’ running back DeOntay Moffett has experienced his share of bad breaks in high school football.

As a freshman, Moffett broke his collarbone.

As a sophomore, he broke his wrist.

And as a junior, Moffett broke his ankle.

Those setbacks should have broken Moffett’s spirit and his heart, but they didn’t.

“I just prayed a lot,” Moffett said. “I just asked God to protect me and keep me healthy. I looked at it as setbacks for making a comeback.”

Indeed, Moffett’s comeback this senior season has been quite impressive.

He carried 27 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-28 victory at Saline in the season opener.

And he totaled 13 carries for 126 yards and two TDs in a 48-7 win against Fruitport last week.

Moffett, a bruising 5-9, 200-pound running back with 4.6 speed, will be a key cog Friday night when the Sailors visit unbeaten state power Rockford in an OK Conference crossover game. Rockford is ranked No. 3 in Division 1 and the Sailors are ranked No. 8 in Division 2 in the first Associated Press state poll.

“They are really good,” Moffett said about the Rams. “We have to respect them and can’t underestimate them. We have to work hard and bust our butts every play.”

Moffett’s past injuries motivated him to work especially hard in the offseason. He attended a sprint camp in Grand Rapids to strengthen his ankle in addition to many hours of weight lifting and conditioning to prepare for his last prep season.

Shores’ coach Matt Koziak said Moffett has been an inspiration to the rest of the team through all the bad breaks in his Shores’ career.

DeOntay Moffett rushes the ball for a first down against Fruitport on September 5. Photo/Jason Goorman

DeOntay Moffett rushes the ball for a first down against Fruitport on September 5. Photo/Jason Goorman

“He deserves all the success he’s getting for what he’s overcome,” Koziak said. “He’s worked his butt off to get stronger and become injury free. To have that running game, that power game, is huge for us.”

The Sailors’ offensive line has answered the bell and provided running room for Moffett, who is a perfect complement to quarterback Tyree Jackson. The University of Buffalo-bound signal caller also hurts opponents with his running skills and strong arm in the passing game.

Moffett said faith is a big part of his life and that example comes from the inspiration of his parents, Devett Moore and Steven Moffett.

In his spare time, Moffett enjoys working out and playing video games. His favorite college team is Michigan State University.

Moffett, who models his running style after former Ohio State standout Carlos Hyde, excels with power and speed.

“I like to punish,” said Moffett, who has an offer from Ferris State and is drawing interest from Wayne State and Saginaw Valley. “I like to run behind my pads.”

Koziak appreciates Moffett’s quiet leadership, humble demeanor and over-the-top work ethic. And he knows his senior running back will be a big key in the Sailors quest to make the playoffs again and advance past the first round.

“He’s a kid who’s had adversity, adversity, adversity and now he’s healthy,” Koziak said. “I can’t wait to see the kind of season he will have. He’ll have a monster season if he stays healthy.”

Moffett, who plans to pursue sports management or business as a career, said the Sailors are on track to meet their team goals this season.

“I think if we keep working hard we’ll have a big season and go far,” he said. “We all have the mindset that we want to get to the state championship.”