Montrose running back Derek Nunez tied the Lackawanna Football Conference rushing record for a single game with 390 yards in Friday night’s win over Holy Cross. He also scored six rushing TDs in the win.
The senior also lives in the Elk Lake district but plays for the Meteors through a co-sponsorship of the sport. That’s something that seems to go against the grain of the two schools, who are fierce rivals.
Here’s more from Sunday’s interview with The Times-Tribune Athlete of the Week.
You mentioned you had a “what if” moment when you realized how close you were to a 400-yard game. Do you ever think, if I had only cut this way off that block? All the time. Every time I watch the film, it’s like, ‘Man, I should have cut that back. Man, I should have run that guy over.’ Everybody does that, but there’s noting I can go back and change.
You attend Elk Lake but play for Montrose because of co-sponsorship. What’s it like going to Elk Lake and being part of the Montrose football team, because those two are pretty fierce rivals? I used to go Elk Lake when I was little. I always knew the rivalry going on. My brother and sister-in-law would give me stuff for it: ‘You’re playing for Montrose.’ Yeah, yeah, I’m playing for Montrose. But it’s great. Everybody on the team gets along and they are a great group of kids.
How do you mentally prepare for a game? It’s music, and then I usually sit and take a couple minutes early and sit on the football field to clear my mind. Kind of like the calm before the storm, if you will.
How has practice evolved from when you were 0-1 to now as you sit at 3-1? Confidence moreso. You can literally see where we’ve come from since (preseason) doubles ended. We are an entirely different team. I love playing with these guys. It’s a great feeling.
Do you have a favorite food that you don’t get to have during football season? Deer steak, but only because we ran out. I’m hoping to fix that. This will be my first year (hunting). We’re seeing if I can’t go out and get some.
Are you an outdoorsy kind of guy? I like it when there aren’t people around, you don’t have to hear sirens every five minutes. It’s fantastic.
Your selections for someone to have dinner with … I don’t think we’ve had anyone go so retro on their three picks. Johnny Cash because of the way he was and how he told stories in his songs. I love that. Country music is starting to get away from that. It’s pretty much crap nowadays. Let’s face facts. It’s not like the old days with Conway Twitty. When I was a little kid, going to my grandpa’s house in New Jersey, John Wayne movies were all that would ever play. Great moves. I love the guy. Clint Eastwood? The Dirty Harry movies and The Outlaw Josie Wales.
Years from now, you’re going to have a record that nobody at Montrose can break — a 99-yard touchdown run. How cool is that? It’s pretty cool. I’m just glad that this team is coming around, because we haven’t done this good since (retired New York Giants guard) Chris Snee was around. When was that? The late 1990s? It’s a great feeling to have.
Do you still hear the name of retired New York Giants guard Chris Snee (a Montrose alumnus) tossed around? It’s to the point where Chris Snee is cool, but it’s time for us to leave our legacy. I respect Chris Snee in every possible way, but it’s time for more players at Montrose to get the spotlight they deserve. They work very hard, and I’ve been there every step of the way since last April.
Who’s the funniest kid on the team? Definitely Seth Bulkley. Know what he said to me last game? He looks at me and says, ‘Derek, if you score on more touchdown, I’m going to give you my first-born son.’ I scored two after that and I was like, ‘You know what Seth. I’ll just name him. You can keep him.’