Jerome Casey was kind enough to provide transportation for all his Sylmar High mates Friday night at Valley College.
Just climb aboard my big shoulders for this East Valley League showdown, Casey seemed to say, and I'll take care of the rest.
And he did.
Nursing a bruised right shoulder, Casey dominated from the opening kickoff to the final gun as Sylmar handed Grant its first defeat, 28-8.
Casey gained 147 yards in 20 carries, scored three touchdowns and threw a 23-yard pass to quarterback Dan Terry for Sylmar's other touchdown.
Four touchdowns for Sylmar (5-2, 3-2 in league play). Pure Casey.
"I was hyped," Casey said. "Grant dogged us. They said our O-line and D-line were weak. So we had to go to work. We had something to prove. And we went to work."
Sylmar Coach Jeff Engilman was not unappreciative of the senior's all-around effort, which included numerous solo tackles from his safety position and 18 receiving yards, amounting to 188 of Sylmar's 220 yards.
"That's why the big colleges are looking at him," Engilman said, grinning. "He did all that playing hurt."
The game was effectively sealed early on when two Lancer fumbles deep in their own territory led to Casey scores. A third Sylmar first-half touchdown came after a stalled drive and poor punt gave the Spartans the ball on the Grant 31.
It was 21-0 at halftime and a disconsolate Lancer squad was facing defeat, a foreign concept this season at the Van Nuys school.
"We just didn't execute," said Grant Coach Bill Foster, whose team fell to 7-1, 4-1. "We got behind and lost our composure. But we'll be here Thursday night (against Poly). We'll show up."