The Raider runner took the request and ran with it.
Ellerbe turned in a career night with 257 yards on a workhorse 30 carries with six TDS.
It was just the beginning of an impressive stretch for Ellerbe.
Over the past five weeks, Ellerbe has rushed for 910 yards and 14 TDs as the Raiders have gone into high gear in their drive to repeat as NCHSAA Class 4AA state champions.
On the season, Ellerbe is the Raiders’ leading rusher with 1,624 yards on 167 carries - a whopping 9.7 cards per carry. He’s found the end zone 24 times.
Ellerbe’s increased offensive output has also helped to compensate for the temporary loss of senior quarterback Tedarrius Wiley, who suffered a left shoulder injury against Scotland.
Jones returned to action last week against Providence; Wiley could be back in the lineup this week when Richmond entertains Independence in a third-round playoff showdown.
But Ellerbe still figures to be a big part of the Raiders’ attack.
The soft-spoken Ellerbe attributes much of his success this season to his offensive linemen.
“They’ve done an excellent job blocking for me,” Ellerbe said this week as he took a break from a weight room workout.
“The holes are there, and I just have to run through them.”
The weight room work has played a key role in Ellerbe’s breakout season, as well: Many of his yards have come after contact, as he’s been able to break tackles.
It’s all part of helping the team get back to Carter-Finley Stadium and bring home another state title.
Richmond head coach Paul Hoggard said Ellerbe responded well to the challenge issued to him earlier in the season.
“We hope he keeps playing at that high level,” Hoggard said.
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