first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments UPDATED: Jan. 23, 2011, 11:37 p.m.NEW YORK –– With Rob Long on his back for all 60 yards, Delone Carter hit the A Gap. Finally.Just like Long – Carter’s former roommate and the Syracuse punter who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor on Dec. 20 – was all night for Carter’s career-high 198 total yards.‘He came up to me after the game and he said he ran with me on his back,’ said Long, who couldn’t play in his and Carter’s final collegiate game due to recent surgery to remove the cancer.‘I know it didn’t look like it when you rush for 200 yards like that.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor the first time all year Carter hit that A Gap through the SU offensive line. It sent his running backs coach, Tyrone Wheatley, into a euphoric episode. Wheatley’s screams startled SU offensive play-caller Nathaniel Hackett on his headset. It came with 4:50 remaining in SU’s 36-34 Pinstripe Bowl victory and Carter’s collegiate career. With Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park the sole focus through his facemask, Carter carried a friend on his back.He didn’t only carry Long in this game, though. He carried the entire SU team. His career day saw him surpass perhaps the greatest player in football history, Jim Brown, on the all-time SU rushing list. Carter finished his career with 3,104 rushing yards, good enough for third in SU history. He finished his final season with 1,233 yards with his 198-yard effort on the day, earning Pinstripe Bowl MVP honors.He didn’t literally carry Long and the rest of SU, of course. But Carter could sense it. He accepted the duty of playing the role of the bull. And Long provided the inspiration.Carter ran with it.‘It wasn’t just one run, the whole game I ran hard,’ Carter said. ‘And I know Rob wishes he could have been out there. I felt him out there with us.’He could feel Long. Not only on the 60-yard scamper to paydirt which propelled Syracuse to the deciding field goal in the thrilling victory. But also on each of his MVP-garnering 27 carries and two touchdowns, averaging 7.3 yards per touch.The season was a final chance for Carter at redemption after he pled guilty to assaulting a fellow Syracuse student last February. The suspension forced Carter to remove himself from what Hackett described as ‘Carter’s family,’ the SU football team, all summer. But Carter returned stronger, with what Hackett described as a ‘better mind’.The final game at Yankee Stadium was the perfect curtain call for Carter’s second chance. He was the MVP. The hero. The 5-foot-9, 220-pound back from Akron bulldozing Kansas State’s defense. In his last stand he eclipsed Brown’s SU marks, a promise he made in person to Brown five years ago as a high school senior in Ohio. And he was the MVP in front of his mother, April-Carter White, and his little cousin Taliyah, who both made the trek from Akron despite the past week’s horrid weather.Carter’s mother and cousin cherished the opportunity to treasure the MVP trophy with Carter after the game – a trophy Carter’s fellow SU running back Antwon Bailey said had to be Carter’s. There was no other option after a performance of this magnitude. Even if SU wide receiver Marcus Sales hauled in three touchdowns for 172 yards in a breakout performance.‘Not even close,’ Bailey said when asked if Carter warranted the MVP. ‘Marcus had a good game, but when you take in consideration everything, Delone deserves it.’Carter deserved a lot as the main weapon in SU’s season-high 498 total yards of offense. But he also said he felt a lot on this night. Not just the presence and will of Long running as a part of him.There was the feeling of his stepfather, Robert White, and his grandmother, Naomi Carter, watching at home. The feeling of need to call his three-year-old son Caden as soon as he finished speaking with reporters. The feeling of Carter perhaps creeping into the third round of the NFL Draft. Fellow SU senior Derrell Smith said Carter ‘certainly did’ improve his draft stock.Paramount, though, was the feeling of fate, as Carter carried Syracuse to his Promised Land.‘I felt like it was meant to be,’ Carter said. ‘And I went out, and it happened.’aolivero@syr.educenter_img Published on December 30, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img

PINSTRIPE : In fitting end to SU career, Carter carries Orange to victory en route to Pinstripe MVP

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