Idris Carter doesn’t ever want to be satisfied.
The Roosevelt senior quarterback said he’s constantly trying to improve his game, looking for an edge over his opponents and, this season, that’s meant making plays with his feet as well as his arm. Carter showed off his dynamic approach against Lawrence on Oct. 26, rushing for 188 yards on 17 carries and tossing a 71-yard, first-quarter touchdown pass to Kayden Parker.
He led Roosevelt to a 24-13 victory, keeping the Rough Riders’ playoff hopes alive and earning Newsday’s Athlete of the Week honors.
“It’s about doing a little more than I need to,” Carter said. “I want to be better every time I step on the field.”
Roosevelt has always had a strong ground game, but, according to coach Joe Vito, in years past, the quarterback’s role was to turn and “hand the ball to the tailback.” This season, after graduating a handful of last year’s backfield standouts, that game plan changed, and Carter started holding onto the ball a bit more, spearheading the Rough Riders’ rushing attack.
“[Carter] accepted whatever job he was going to have and during the season when we were lacking in those positions he stepped in, like he’d been doing it forever,” Vito said.
Carter has packed his personal stat sheet, rarely coming off the field. In Roosevelt’s first seven games, he rushed for 1,003 yards and 11 touchdowns on 104 carries, and also was 33-of-57 passing for 706 yards and six touchdowns. On defense, he’s recorded 24 tackles and three interceptions.
Vito said the performance has rallied the Rough Raiders, particularly after they dropped the first three games of the season.
“He kept this team together,” Vito said. “He’s like our Swiss Army knife, doing a bit of everything.”
Carter credited his offensive line for opening lanes in front of him, adding that he’s never trying to do too much when he runs. His goal is to see what an opposing defense gives him and then exploit it, relishing the opportunity to outrun anyone looking to bring him down.
“My guys do a great job of blocking, so sometimes I’ll do a little bit extra, work a block here or there,” he said. “You kick it into an extra gear when you get out there and get into the end zone.”
Although he’s shouldered added responsibility on both sides of the field, Carter, who is committed to play baseball at Stony Brook, wouldn’t want it any other way. He grew up around football — his father is part of the current coaching staff at Wantagh — and said he’s been waiting “since I was little” for the opportunity to lead the Rough Riders.
“My job is to be that veteran guy,” Carter said. “I wanted to be the glue for the younger guys on the team.”