Michael Haygood is one of the surprises of the high school football season.

The running back has sparked Buena Regional to a 2-1 start. The 5-foot-7, 175-pound junior has rushed for 331 yards on 42 carries. He scored a touchdown and rushed for 183 yards in a 28-14 win over Middle Township last week.

Haygood's best asset is speed. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.

Haygood's performance has been especially important for Buena because standout quarterback Donetae McKinnon has missed most of the last two games with an ankle injury.

Buena hosts Millville (2-2) in a Cape-Atlantic League interconference game at 7 p.m. today.

Did you expect to have this much success this season? I did. I've worked hard this season and I did track last year. I've prepared well.

Have you always been a running back? How did you start playing that position? I started my football career in pee-wee. I played for the Somers Point Sharks. Since then I've always been a running back. All my life, I've been running the ball.

When did you realize you were fast? I knew it when I was young. My mom used to always tell me I'd run around the house with a football in my hand.

How big is tonight's game with Millville? Is there a rivalry there? They always come out ready. They always come out hitting and we hit them, too. We've got a tough team.

What's your favorite thing about Buena Regional High School? The unity. We always seem to come together, as a football team and as a school.

Michael McGarry