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.

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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

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