Montgomery County High School Athlete of the Week

MyMCM has partnered with the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame to feature high school athletes from all across the county.

Cruiz Paul-Umstead usually plays wide receiver and cornerback for the Einstein High football team. He also returns punts and kickoffs. But with the Titans starting quarterback injured, Coach Sean Loftus has had to be resourceful. This past week, that meant that Paul-Umstead often lined up at quarterback on offense.

While Einstein struggled after Paul-Umstead returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, Paul-Umstead came through in the second half. He finished with 195 yards rushing and rushed for three touchdowns, all after halftime, as Einstein rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat Whitman, 28-26, for its first victory this season.

Paul-Umstead, who never attempted a pass on offense, also intercepted a pass on defense to seal the victory. For his efforts, Paul-Umstead was named the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame High School Athlete of the Week.

Each week throughout the school year, the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame is partnering with Montgomery Community Media to honor an Athlete of the Week from the county’s more than 40 public and private high schools.

“He started at wide receiver last year, but he’s starting at everything this year, [his position] varies week to week,” Loftus said. “Our starting quarterback (Liam Oaks) broke his thumb on the second play of our opening game. We have a freshman playing quarterback, so we are using Cruiz in the wildcat to give spurts to our offense and not rely too much on the young guy. We want to get the ball in our best athletes’ hands and the easiest way is to snap it to him.”

Against Whitman, Paul-Umstead had touchdown runs of 65, 2 and 55 yards, the last one coming with three minutes left and putting Einstein ahead 28-26 after the two-point conversion. The Vikings had driven across midfield when Paul-Umstead intercepted a pass at his own 35-yard line with one minute left, sealing the victory.

“Cruiz is just a phenomenal kid,” Loftus said. “He does everything we ask. We move him around a lot and he never complains. He just keeps making plays for us.”


Photo courtesy Cedric Leon/Einstein football

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