Mychael Williams was projected to be Quartz Hill's No. 2 running back this season, but nagging injuries to Derrick Teal moved him to the top of the depth chart.
Teal is back in the lineup, but Williams remains No. 1.
He enters the final week of the regular season needing 66 yards to become the Rebels' first 1,000-yard rusher since Jeremiah Harris gained 1,354 yards in 1995.
Tony Ortiz of Lancaster, who rushed for 1,191 yards last season, needs 69 yards to reach 1,000.
Williams and Ortiz will have a chance to monitor each other on Thursday, when Lancaster (4-5, 2-2) hosts Quartz Hill (2-7, 1-3) in a game that could decide third place in the Golden League.
No wonder Birmingham is unbeaten. Judging by the nicknames of the players, the team is full of superheroes and action figures.
Start with the receivers. John Walker is called "Nightcrawler," Ramal Porter is "Spiderman" and Sammy Johnson is "Superman."
Running back Kevin McCleary is "Iceman," his backup D'Andre Sewell is "Batman" and his backup, Dennis Reyes, is "Dr. Doom."
Then there's the defense. The linebackers are as colorful as Power Rangers. Markell Turner is called "Sabertooth," Joe Harper is "Gambit," Chris Meyerson is "Juggernaut" and Angelo Newsome--apparently a money player--is called "Coinage."
Eric Ochoa, a sophomore linebacker, is the Patriots' leading tackler. Although he's known as trouble to opposing ballcarriers, he doesn't have a nickname.
"I'm just Eric," he said.