For three quarters against Thousand Oaks High on Friday night, Lance Cross looked like almost any other high school running back--plowing his way for two yards at a time.
“I didn’t really have my head into the game in the first half,” he said. “I don’t really know why.”
Whatever the reason, he compensated for it in the final period.
After gaining only 25 yards on his first 13 carries, the junior tailback exploded for 100 yards to finish the game with 125 yards on 22 carries to lead Canyon to a 21-0 victory over the Lancers at Thousand Oaks.
“In the second half, I just my head into it,” Cross explained.
And while he found his head, the Lancers were left scratching theirs.
Cross scored each of the Cowboys’ three touchdowns to propel Canyon, ranked No. 1 in the Times’ Valley Top-Ten Poll, to its 27th consecutive win and third of the season.
Cross’ outburst didn’t suprise Canyon coach Harry Welch.
“Last week, (the Rams’) Eric Dickerson averaged only 2.6 yards a carry in the first half and look what he did in the second half,” he said. “You can’t keep the standout backs down. I definitely say Lance is a standout back.”
But until Cross began his running exhibition, it looked as if Thousand Oaks might have a chance to be the one standing out.
Although the Lancers gained only 35 yards in the first half, they entered the third quarter losing by only seven points.
The Thousand Oaks defense while giving up 195 total yards in the first half, frustrated the Cowboys on numerous occassions.
Lancers’ safety Ricky Strickland, who intercepted two passes in Thousand Oaks’ season-opening win over Arcadia, picked off a John Watkins pass in his end zone.