Joquise Buford didn't get much of a chance to show his speed and swivel hips for Henry Clay last season.
He mostly sat and watched as Elijah Bell and Davion Jackson took star turns at running back for the Blue Devils.
Now it's Buford's time to shine.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound junior, who also goes by JoJo, was on the go-go against host Tates Creek on Friday night. Flashing 4.47 speed, he ran 14 times for 250 yards and seven touchdowns to lead Henry Clay to a 64-29 victory.
Buford said the blocking his teammates provided was "just beautiful. I couldn't have scored all those touchdowns without them."
Buford carried the ball only 13 times last year but showed his explosiveness by averaging 23 yards a touch and he had four TDs.
"I knew I needed to wait my turn last year," he said. "But I dreamed about having a game like this."
Henry Clay Coach Sam Simpson was impressed by Buford's shifty moves.
"Gosh dang, he can make you miss, can't he?" Simpson said. "But he had great blocking, too, from his line, the other backs and receivers."
Henry Clay's ground game wasn't just Buford. The Devils rushed for 520 yards, with Austin Bledsoe going for 139 yards, and quarterback Rhoman James adding 74.
Henry Clay senior center Sullivan Simpson wasn't surprised by the output.
"As a team we had a great night," he said. "We got prepared in practice, the coaches called good plays, and we knew (Buford) could do something special."
Henry Clay stunned Tates Creek with three early TDs.
Buford shook free for a 22-yard scoring run less than three minutes into the game, and C.J. Tackett threw to Webb VanMeter for the two-point conversion.
The Devils blocked a Tates Creek punt near the goal line barely two minutes later, and Dominick Buckler took it in for the TD.
On its next possession, Henry Clay drove 65 yards in six plays, with Buford getting the TD to make it 22-0.
The Commodores showed some life when Sakima Opsal tackled Davonte Robinson in the end zone for a safety. After getting the ball back, Tates Creek scored again thanks to the hard running of Jaren Shelby. His TD cut Henry Clay's lead to 22-8.
But the Devils had too much firepower for Tates Creek to overcome.
Buford scored two more times in the second quarter, and added two more in the second half.
To its credit, Tates Creek never quit battling.
Graham Gordon completed 15 of 29 passes for 208 yards and two TDs.
Shelby ran 28 times for 102 yards and a score.
Henry Clay's defense was especially effective early, thanks to the spirited play of Dennis Newby and Elijah Barnett who combined for 18 tackles.
Tates Creek Coach Antoine Sims bemoaned his own team's lack of defense.
"(Buford) made great cutbacks, but we've got to keep to our assignments and make tackles," he said.
"And we can't start like that, getting down 22-0. I loved our fight, but we've gotta start the way we finished. If we'd done that tonight, we have ourselves a football game."
Henry Clay 64, Tates Creek 29
Henry Clay 22 14 14 14—64
Tates Creek 0 11 6 12—29
HC—Joquise Buford 22 run (Webb VanMeter pass from C.J. Tackett). HC—Dominick Buckler 1-yd blocked punt return (Taylor Dunbar kick). HC—Buford 1 run (Dunbar kick). TC—Sakima Opsal tackle Davonte Robinson in end zone. TC—Jaren Shelby 1 run. HC—Buford 45 run (Dunbar kick). HC—Buford 14 run (Dunbar kick). TC—Jared Wilkins 40 field goal. TC—Austin Rogers 10 pass from Graham Gordon (pass failed). HC—Buford 25 run (Dunbar kick). HC—Buford 14 run (Dunbar kick). TC—Max Sweet 1 run (pass failed). TC—Drew Ransdell 12 pass from Gordon (pass failed). HC—Buford 41 run (Dunbar kick). HC—Sanquin Walker 7 run (Dunbar kick).
Records: Henry Clay 2-1 Tates Creek 2-2.