For a working again with mighty requirements, Devin Samples’ first-week effort for Long Beach Poly towards Clovis was forgettable.
Certain, he picked up a pair touchdowns. However he floor his approach to simply 33 yards in 11 carries. Coach Stephen Barbee didn’t assume it was indicative of something — he had a pair working backs in Karon Inexperienced and Josh Cason who he wished to get some appears to be like.
“I don’t need to run him 20, 30 times a game,” Barbee stated of Samples earlier this week.
Thirty-three carries later in a 17-3 win in Friday evening’s rivalry matchup with Gardena Serra, a lot for that. When the bell was rung, Samples was prepared.
The larger the sport, Barbee stated, the larger Samples’ efficiency. There are few video games greater than Friday evening’s — and time and time once more, the Jackrabbits turned to Samples to easily run the ball down Serra’s throat. He completed with 177 yards and a landing.
“If I need to hand him the ball 20-30 times,” Barbee stated, “he knows he’s going to be getting that ball, and he’s ready.”
It was a brand new yr, Barbee stated. Utterly new staff. Gone are the four-year faces at quarterback for every program, Serra’s Maalik Murphy and Poly’s Shea Kuykendall.
But Jackrabbits gamers haven’t forgotten Serra knocking them out within the Southern Part Division 1-A finals final season, or their 28-27 loss to the Cavaliers in that season‘s opener.
“We can’t let them do this three times in a row … we gotta go out there with a different mentality this time for sure,” quarterback Darius Curry stated Tuesday.
On the Jackrabbits’ first drive Friday, Curry regarded rushed, almost throwing a choose on his first cross and struggling to maneuver the ball. So the very subsequent drive, Barbee turned to a hurry-up offense and stored force-feeding Samples, who chugged for 78 first-half yards in 14 carries.
“He’s got the biggest heart once he gets that ball in his hands,” Barbee stated after the sport.
4 yards. Eight yards. Six yards. Eight yards. Hardly a blink glided by, and Curry was handing off to Samples, the 5-foot-6 again’s highly effective legs churning for one more chunk of yardage. Lastly, after Samples introduced the ball to the 36-yard line, the sector opened up for Curry, the quarterback launching a spiral deep into the evening at Veterans Memorial Stadium to search out sophomore Jadyn Robinson for the sport’s first landing.
Robinson completed with 68 yards and the landing, main a receiving corps that Barbee known as the deepest in his 5 years teaching this system.
“We got dogs all over the field,” Curry stated earlier within the week.
A type of standouts was linebacker Ikenasio Mikaele, who picked up back-to-back sacks of Serra quarterback Jason Mitchell late within the second quarter after which scooped up a fumble on the Cavaliers’ first drive of the third quarter. The Poly protection stored Mitchell off steadiness all evening, the safety-turned-quarterback misfiring on his first seven throws.
With Poly clinging to a 10-3 lead on the finish of the third quarter, Samples took a handoff and burst by a gap down the left sideline, a 43-yard acquire that marked his first carry of greater than 15 yards. Snap after snap on the drive, the ball discovered his trusty fingers, and he stored digging for brief positive factors till he discovered paydirt on third and aim with a one-yard push.
“We see they was getting tired, so we was like … drive them out,” Samples stated. “Get them tired. That was the game plan.”
Certain, Barbee may not have to run Samples 30 occasions — however within the largest of video games, the workhorse is a particular luxurious.