Bryan Station Coach Oliver Lucas called running back Tevin McCaden "legit." Defenders running backs coach Demetrit Rushin called McCaden "a beast."
McCaden had 14 carries for 236 yards and four touchdowns — five if you count his fourth-quarter kickoff-return TD — and led the Defenders to a season-opening 56-24 thumping of Clark County on Friday.
McCaden didn't call himself legit or a beast; he put it more simply.
"I just went out there with the best that I had," said McCaden. "The team deserves my best, so I just try hard out there."
The senior tailback didn't waste time in getting the 2009 season going. Just 26 seconds into the game — on the Defenders' second play from scrimmage after Clark County fumbled the opening kickoff — McCaden bounced outside the left tackle and ran an untouched 19 yards into the end zone.
On the Defenders' next possession, McCaden broke through a huddle of would-be Cardinals tacklers and sprinted 68 yards for a score — his second of the season, just more than five minutes into its first game.
"Poor players make poor plays, good players make good plays, and great players make great plays," Lucas said. "He made great plays all night. He's deceptive out there, he's hard to take down. That's one of the strengths of his game."
Indeed, McCaden said breaking tackles is one of the two strong points of his game.
The other, he said, is his vision of the field.
McCaden demonstrated that vision on his kickoff-return touchdown late in the game, the final punctuation mark on his explosive night.
He fielded the ball on Bryan Station's 17-yard line and immediately headed for the right sideline. Several broken tackles later, McCaden had one man to beat. His field vision told him to cut across to midfield in order to beat him.
McCaden cut, the defender tripped, and McCaden jogged in.
"I don't even know what happened there," McCaden said. "I saw a big hole, and I took it.
"Paid off, I guess."
Apart from McCaden's monster night, Lucas said he was "generally pleased" with the Defenders' performance Friday. He pointed out Bryan Station's touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams as a model of consistent hard work; he also made sure to point out his team has plenty to work on.
"We don't want to take this win for granted, even though we played great," Lucas said. "We're humble about getting this team turned around, and we're working every day at getting better to do so."
Much like Lucas, McCaden said he's going to value Friday's win as one win in a 10-game schedule.
One game and five all-purpose touchdowns into the new season, though, McCaden said he won't disallow himself from celebrating a bit — although he still won't consider himself "a beast" quite yet.
"A beast? I don't know about that," McCaden said. "That was fun out there, though. I just let myself go and that happened. I'll soak it in then get back to work."
Clark Co. 3 7 0 14—24
Bryan Station 14 14 14 14—56
BS—Tevin McCaden 19 run (Jose Marin kick); BS—McCaden 68 run (Marin kick); CC—Taylor Moody 35 field goal; BS—McCaden 35 run (Marin kick); CC—Jerrick Curry 62 pass from Darius Skinner (Moody kick); BS—Josh Arnett 6 run (Marin kick); BS—Nahee Calderon 40 interception return (Marin kick); BS—McCaden 41 run (Marin kick); CC—Chris Gipson 45 run (Moody kick); BS—McCaden 83 kickoff return (Marin kick); BS—Tim Hayden 32 fumble return (Marin kick); CC—Evan Menchen 3 run (Tyler Creteau kick).
Records: Bryan Station 1-0, Clark Co. 0-1.