MONUMENT — Derek Edwards looks more like semi-truck than he does a sports car. But he showed on Friday night, that once he gets up to speed, he can be tough to catch.
The 215-pound fullback from Mead put up a modest 188 rushing yards in the Mavericks' 41-14 win over Lewis-Palmer on Friday night at Don Breese Stadium.
On the last play of the first half for Mead, he broke for a 44-yard touchdown run and on his first touch of the second half, he went for a 63-yard score. The big guy is deceptively fast.
"It all starts with the offensive line," Edwards said. "They make us look pretty. Without them, we wouldn't do anything. We just like to run and go fast and that's what we practice all week."
And it's not just him.
The Mavericks (1-0 overall) have a three-man band working in perfect harmony in that backfield. Edwards, along with running back Nathan Mackey and quarterback Tyler Keys, combined for 395 yards on the ground.
The first game of the week can usually result in some jitters and nerves, but if there were any for Mead, Keys thinks the team got over them fairly quickly.
"We were a little nervous before (the game), but that's normal," Keys said. "As soon as the first play was over, I think we were all good."
On the first drive of the game, Mead was able to march 90 yards down the field. Facing fourth and goal at the two, they opted to go for it, but the Lewis-Palmer defense stood tall to force the turnover on downs.
But as in-sync as Mead was offensively, the Rangers (0-1) struggled to establish any momentum.
"About everything that could've went wrong in the first half went wrong," Lewis-Palmer coach Dustin Tupper said. "We turned the ball over. I thought up front, we got dominated on both sides of the ball."
They finally found some offense on their second drive of the first half as quarterback Cole Recker found Joel Scott for a 63-yard touchdown pass.
But the Mavericks answered right away as a Mackey 38-yard run helped set up a Keys touchdown run, one of three for him on the night. Of the three-man band, Mackey was the only one to not find the end zone, but it didn't bother him in the least.
"That's what we knew coming into the year, that we were going to spread the wealth and everyone was going to get touches," Mackey said. "It doesn't matter who gets the ball, whoever gets it just needs to run and get touchdowns."
The Rangers were able to find the end zone one more time on a two-yard run from Dieudonne Chea, but the game was too far out of reach by that point.
Perhaps the most underrated aspect of the game was that the Mavericks forced two turnovers and scored touchdowns off both of them. Coach Jason Klatt knows that teams who can take advantage of those opportunities will always find success.
"When you win the turnover battle, good things happen," Klatt said. "I was really proud of our defense. This team put up 50 on us last year. They were really good."
But this year, it's Mead who turned out to be pretty good. The Class 3A No. 5-ranked Mavericks are off and running in search of a remarkable season.