CHANDLER — Cushing running back Gage Stallworth took his first carry of the night, burst through a hole on the right side of the line, and outran the Chandler defense 93 yards to the end zone.
The senior was just getting warmed up.
When Cushing's 48-14 victory over Chandler was done, Stallworth had 240 yards and five touchdowns on 30 carries.
“When we are able to make a play like that, it opens up our whole offense,” said Stallworth of his 93-yard touchdown run. “It's big to get that on the first play.”
After showing off his speed with his first carry, he displayed power running ability the rest of the way. None of Stallworth's next 29 carries went for more than 16 yards.
“Best-kept secret in the state,” said Cushing coach Barrett Shupe of his star running back. “It's not necessarily the long runs that are so impressive as much as it is the tough eight-yard runs he has. He's just a kid that fights for every yard. The first guy to meet him usually doesn't bring him down.”
Stallworth spent much of the night running behind tight end/fullback Trevor Hubble. Known as a standout on the defensive line, Hubble has also made a name for himself with his ability to open holes for Stallworth this season.
“Man, Trevor is a stud,” Shupe said. “He's one of the best defensive linemen in the state, and this summer we thought, ‘Why not get him in on offense as a lead blocker?' Not a lot of people want to meet him in the hole.”
The extra responsibility for Hubble has worked out well, adding a talented blocker behind an already good offensive line.
“The line and all of our tight ends and other backs have been great blocking for me this year,” Stallworth said. “And Trevor, I'm most confident running behind him. He's a great blocker, a good defensive lineman, and just an all-around great athlete like a lot of guys on our team.”
Cushing (7-0, 3-0 in District 3A-2) is off to its best start since 1958 when the Tigers started 6-0 and won the state championship.
“I think we can go and compete with anyone,” Stallworth said. “Our chemistry has been great for us this year. The seniors, we are all really close and we've been together for a long time in Cushing. We've got a shot to do some big things, but as of now we have to go and take it one game at a time. Next week, we'll just be focused on Perkins to make sure we don't look past anyone.”
Chandler (3-4, 1-3) was lead by junior running back Darion Mixon, who had 100 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.