Last season, Aliston Cobb had a front-row seat to watch Quinton Neil make Douglass football history.
Cobb was the Trojans' third-string running back, playing behind Neil, who set the single-season school record for rushing yards (1,658) and helped Douglass reach the Class 4A state championship game.
But this season, Cobb is the one putting on a show.
Through six games, the senior has rushed for 954 yards and 14 touchdowns on just 82 carries — 11.6 yards per touch.
Playing behind Neil and Kevin Forbes — who rushed for 1,165 yards and 13 TDs — last year prepared Cobb for his opportunity.
"It was good competition seeing them go out and do it," said Cobb, The Oklahoman's high school football Player of the Week. "That gave me motivation.
"There's always more chances to get better."
Cobb's performance isn't a solo act, and he knows it. He credits the Trojans' offensive linemen, and they enjoy blocking for him as much as he likes running behind them.
"He's fast, and when you get on your block, you've only got to stay on it a couple seconds and he goes," junior lineman Cayman Bundage said. "He makes it easy on us to block."
Behind a powerful offensive line, sophomore Diontay Washington has 495 yards and five scores on 50 carries, putting the Trojans on pace for two 1,000-yard backs again this season.
Quarterback Shon Bridges and fullback Ian Robinson are both big play threats to help Douglass average 339 rushing yards per game — better than last year's average when the Trojans posted 4,662 yards over 14 games.
After losing 20 seniors from last year's Class 4A state runner-up, coach Willis Alexander knew his team would need some time to learn. And after opening 0-2 with close losses to ranked opponents Bishop McGuinness and Millwood, the third-ranked Trojans seem to be hitting their stride.
They've won four straight, outscoring the last three opponents 161-13.
A couple of crucial games remain. Following a date with McLoud this week, the Trojans play unbeaten and 10th-ranked Harrah, then fourth-ranked Glenpool.
"Experience is our best teacher right now," Alexander said. "There's still room to grow. I knew we would have a chance to be competitive."
With only two teams, Broken Bow and Wagoner, ranked ahead of them, the Trojans still have all of their goals in front of them, especially the chance to do what last year's team fell just short of — winning the gold ball.
"Our goals are always high," Cobb said, "and they'll always be high."