Ikaika Gonzalez-bentosino has been pushing for a long time. He is a senior running back for Englewood and is starting to see progress in his fourth season as a member of the Pirates' football team. …
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Ikaika Gonzalez-bentosino has been pushing for a long time.
He is a senior running back for Englewood and is starting to see progress in his fourth season as a member of the Pirates' football team.
Gonzalez-bentosino, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back who is a native of Hawaii, rushed for 1,156 yards and averaged 9.2 yards per carry last season and is on track to match those numbers this year.
With four shutout wins for Englewood against Class 2A teams, he isn't getting as many carries as a year ago. He had just four attempts in a 58-0 win over Riverdale Ridge on Sept. 24, gained 65 yards for a 16.3 per carry average and scored four touchdowns.
More importantly the Pirates were 4-1 before an Oct. 5 game against Kent Denver, which matches the most wins in eight seasons for the program. The lone loss in the first five games was to 3A Denver North.
“I'm just trying to push myself and push everybody else, do good in practice and the games,” said the soft-spoken Gonzalez-bentosino, who runs track in the spring. “I'd like to get 1,000 rushing yards this season and as a team I just want us to make the state playoffs.”
Gonzalez-bentosino has gained 573 yards in five games, averaging 9.2 yards per carry and has scored 10 touchdowns.
“I don't care what classification you are talking about, he's one of the best running backs in the state of Colorado. He's a special back. We talk about it before every game that good backs fall forward. He always falls forward. He's got a great blend of good feet and also power. He can make you miss and he finishes runs.”
Englewood football coach
Q&A with Gonzalez-bentosino
Who is your favorite athlete?
I'd probably say Kobe Bryant just attitude wise.
What or who motivates you most to excel in sports?
Probably my mom, she gets on me about it.
What would be a perfect performance in your sport?
A perfect game would be a shutout and just winning the game.
What is your favorite class in school and why?
I would say English. That's one of my hardest classes and it just pushes me.
What do you like to do away from sports and school?
I usually just work out and I'm a lifeguard.
What are your plans after high school?
I'm going to try to go to college and probably play football.
What do you do to celebrate after winning a game?
I just go home, wake up on Saturday and watch college football
Does a good passing game help a running back?
It's important because you have to be able to run the ball. You have to have that passing game to go over the top and give the running game a break. It helps a running back because the defense really has to be on their toes.
How essential is it for a running back to also be a good blocker?
It's important because I have to protect my quarterback.
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