Cody Engelbrecht could be one of the rare players to be a member of three state championship football teams should the Hamilton Huskies knock off Brophy Prep Saturday night in the 5A Division I title game at Sun Devil Stadium.
Engelbrecht was involved in a personal rarity last week when he nearly displaced Terrell Suggs atop the school record book for rushing yards in a game.
The 6-foot, 200-pound senior, ran the ball more than he ever has in a varsity game against Westwood in the semifinals, topping the 20-carry mark for the first time in his career and almost toting it 30 times. Engelbrecht plowed and darted his way to 355 yards on 29 carries as the Huskies’ rushing game ground the unbeaten Warriors’ season to a halt.
‘‘The most I had run before in a game was 18 (carries),’’ Engelbrecht said. ‘‘The thing about it was lately I’d been playing on defense a lot. Last week I was limited to when I played on defense. It didn’t feel like the 13th game of the season. The rest I’ve gotten this year had a lot to do with it.’’
Engelbrecht, who enrolled at Hamilton after spending his freshman year at Desert Vista, is steady and consistent when it comes to doing his job.
‘‘He is the perfect back for our system,’’ coach John Wrenn said. ‘‘It doesn’t
matter to him if he rushes for 50 yards or 350 yards. He can run inside and outside. And he doesn’t turn the ball over much.’’
Hamilton’s coaching staff purposely limited Engelbrecht this season since each game has been won comfortably. Prior to last week Engelbrecht averaged 12 rushes per game. Most Friday nights this season Engelbrecht and many of his starting teammates have been spectators anywhere from 12 to 18 minutes. Quite a luxury this time of year.
‘‘I was still sore the day after the game,’’ Engelbrecht said. ‘‘Sore is sore. But I felt strong during the game.’’
With one game remaining in his career, Engelbrecht is the school’s second all-time rusher and second all-time leading scorer. That’s a tribute to his durability. He has not missed a varsity game to date — 41 in all.