At 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Putnam City junior Casey Curtis isn't built like a prototypical workhorse running back.
But his size — or others' questions about it — has never bothered Curtis, who pounded out 205 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries behind strong offensive line play to lead Putnam City to a 37-22 win over Edmond North Thursday night at PC Stadium.
His biggest run of the night — both in yardage and impact — came with Putnam City facing third-and-14 deep in its own territory. At first, the play call looked like a simple attempt to gain a few yards to help out the defense.
But Curtis exploded through a hole up the middle, going 84 yards untouched for a second-quarter touchdown that gave the Pirates a 21-0 lead.
"The offensive line really understood what the situation was," PC quarterback Caleb Lee said. "They opened up a hole and Casey hit it real hard and he was gone."
Edmond North rallied in the second half to get within one score, but never made a serious threat at tying the game or taking the lead.
And with a chance to get back within a touchdown in the final minutes, the Huskies couldn't close out the drive. On fourth-and-goal from the 4, Troy Davis was met just inches short of the goal line by PC linebacker Elie Rushing.
"I saw the running back come out and the linemen coming, so I knew it was a screen pass," Rushing said. "Our coaches taught us to jump on it. I knew I had to get him."
Line play on both sides of the ball has been a major key in the Pirates' 5-1 start. The Pirates allowed 3.9 yards per carry and kept Huskies quarterback Travis Townsend unsettled in the pocket.
Offensively, the Pirates' effective run game worked perfectly to set up the pass.
"The line was blocking really well," Curtis said. "And whenever we run the ball, teams think we're gonna keep running it. Then we throw a pass — touchdown."
Lee completed six of 11 throws for 123 yards, including TD tosses of 33 and 27 yards, as the Pirates bounced back from last week's loss at Del City.
"Last week, we had a chance to win the game and we missed some opportunities," Lee said. "This week, we took advantage of those opportunities, and I think that's why we came out on top."