Putnam City running back Casey Curtis rushed for 206 yards Thursday night, the kind of production that a year ago, no one would have thought possible.
Curtis, then a sophomore, was playing slot receiver in the Pirates' spread offense. But this season, with a mostly new offensive line that seems to have a knack for smashmouth football, PC is pounding out yardage on the ground.
Curtis' first career 200-yard game accounted for more than half of the Pirates' 403 yards on the ground in the 42-22 defeat of Choctaw at Putnam City Stadium.
"Once we started running the ball, it felt good, felt like we were gonna stuff it down their throat," said Curtis, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound junior. "Our linemen are hard workers. (Fullback) Reed Brooks was opening up holes, too.
"This is why we put this formation in — to run the ball hard."
Curtis had always been a running back before, so last year's move to receiver was a change. But he's much more comfortable and more productive at tailback.
He carried the ball 23 times with rushing TDs of 4, 64 and 21 yards, the latter coming on a fourth-and-one play early in the fourth quarter that slammed the door on the Yellowjackets. Fellow junior running back Desmond Tilly had a 29-yard TD run on fourth-and-two in the third quarter and finished with 101 yards on nine carries.
"You can say we've got good running backs, but you don't have good running backs without a good offensive line," PC head coach John Wofford said. "Our offensive line stepped up and made some nice holes. Coach Ron Williams does a great job with that offensive line."
And quarterback Caleb Lee got in on the action. He rushed for a 40-yard score early in the third quarter, slipping out of a potential sack and sprinting past two more would-be tacklers along the way.
"We knew we were gonna run the ball a lot, and we got the job done," said senior center Caleb McFarland, who also had a sack on defense. "Smashmouth is definitely Putnam City's style. We like to throw the ball around, too, but running the ball is our business."