Benton RB Zach Pierson is quietly, but firmly, leading his team
Zach Pierson is a soft-spoken running back so opponents might not hear him coming but will know when he arrives.
“He’s a doer, not a talker,” said Benton Coach Caleb Guidry. “He’s quiet, does not talk much. He’s a leader but leads by actions.”
At 5-9, 185 pounds, Pierson has left his mark on players, helmets and games alike.
“I like running over people, it’s kinda fun,” Pierson said. “It lets the defense know you’re not scared of them.”
Benton uses a Wing T offense, a run-oriented offense that uses three running backs.
“It’s an offense that uses a lot of misdirection and motion,” Guidry said. “It’s an offense that’s been around a long time.”
Last season, playing a wingback position, Pierson wreaked havoc with opposing defenses. He ran 153 times for 18 touchdowns and 1,168 yards. This season, the sledding has been somewhat tougher as he has gained 455 yards on 95 carries.
The first three games of this season Pierson ran from the fullback position rather than from the wingback position, but now is back in his familiar wingback spot and anticipates his production will increase.
“In our offense, you have to be able to block as well as carry the ball,” Guidry said. “He does both equally well.”
Pierson looks up to several current or former NFL running backs, but none more so than former Houston Oiler Earl Campbell.
“He’s big and aggressive,” Pierson said. “It’s hard for people to bring him down.”
Pierson first started playing football back in the fourth grade and fell in love with the game.
“I watched my older brother play, and we had lots of fun watching football on TV,” Pierson said. “We were a football loving family.”
He is the son of Darnesha James and Eugene James.
If needed, Pierson said he would like playing on defense to administer a few hits but is content playing as a running back.
“I like running over people on offense,” Pierson said. “I run the ball to score some points for the team.”
Guidry credits Pierson with working hard during the offseason to get bigger, stronger and faster.
More of a power runner than a pure speedster, Pierson nevertheless has hitting and one other thing on his mind.
“When I get the ball my head is going to the endzone automatically,” Pierson said.
One of his most memorable experiences took place last season when Benton was playing Huntington in Independence Staqdium. Pierson took a pitch and ran 78 yards for a touchdown.
“That’s the favorite play of my career so far,” Pierson said.
When not playing football, Pierson enjoys fishing and hanging out with friends.
His newest favorite pastime is tubing on the lake.
“One of my friends took me last summer,” Pierson said. “I got so addicted to it. I really enjoyed it.”
Guidry says he has come to expect Pierson to work hard and play hard.
“Everything he does is full speed,” Guidry said. “I think that is the main thing that makes him a good running back.”