It's the Davis defense -- the unit that for two consecutive years has stopped the Wolverines at the Class 2A semifinal round -- with an assist from its offense in last year's 56-39 shootout.
"Really sticking to my game plan," he said. "Technique always comes in handy, making sure I read the right holes and do all the stuff I need to be doing right -- really, just being a good running back for my team."
OK, maybe the defense has to figure out the wishbone, just to give Davis a dose of its own medicine. But otherwise, Casey, considered by the
The 6-9, 160-pound All-Phoenix Small School Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 comes into his senior season off a 218-for-1,871-yard season, scoring 29 rushing touchdowns.
"He grew up last year," Vian coach
Casey was a return specialist. He served in that role as a freshman and became a starter in the offensive backfield as a sophomore.
Time in the weight room has made him stronger and, Tyler hopes, more durable -- even while a matured quarterback in
"He's pushing 170 and got stronger than he was. He hasn't done a lot of speed work but he hasn't run much since qualifying for the state track meet this past spring."
Casey was a state qualifier in the 100 and 200 and also in the 400 and 800 relays.
He caught 7 passes for 146 yards. Those numbers should go up.
Others on our list:
5-10, 185, Sr.
"He was about 70 percent of our offense, but we'd look out at times and see seven men in the box. They keyed on him so hard, I'm going to have to do a better job of decoying him some and getting the ball to some of our other skill kids. But we're still expecting big things from him," said Porum coach
He carried 35 carries in the season-opener against
"There was too much wear and tear on him," Hokit said. "And it wasn't like he was running a lot of sweeps. Most of it was inside the tackles.
"He takes pretty good care of his body, but we need to get him in here running and into shape that way. We'll decoy him more, but he'll stay busy and we need him at 100 percent."
5-9, 165, Sr.
Woods had a string of four consecutive 100-yard rushing games when he became a starter due to injury last year and finished with 865 yards on 161 carries and 20 TDs. His challenge will be running behind an offensive line that lost three starters from a Class 3A quarterfinalist. But while the line matures, so has Woods' vision, said Hilldale coach
"Just seeing things and how things develop, he's much better and he's running more physical with that vision," said Kirkhart. "Not that he didn't run physical last year, he's just more that way because he's hitting the holes and finishing carries better."
5-6, 165, Jr.
Hooper showed what his head coach,
"He can hit for two, three, four yards and then make you hold your breath," Richardson said. "He can make the jittery move and he can get the tough yards.
"We found we could give him the ball 20 times a game which is something we didn't expect with his frame. But he's a state champion power lifter so his body isn't the normal 5-6, 165-pounder."
5. Jacouri Freeman and
5-11, 170, Sr.; 6-0, 190, Sr.
It's hard for Muskogee coach
"Cantrell still is getting used to being back, having not played since his freshman year. But he's made the most strides of any of our backs, to where we've got two first-team tailbacks," said Watkins. "Both are physical runners. Cantrell may be a better pass-catcher out of the backfield. But when Jacouri is on, he's got a chance of being a beast."
DeShay moved in from
"He is a big reason we made the push we did for the district championship and playoff run," said Checotah coach
7. Wagoner's committee
The last couple of years, it was 2013 All-
"Roman is more of a receiving threat but we'll probably do more rotating them due to them playing defense," Wagoner coach
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