No matter which side Darin Pope is hit from, Edison's senior running back always seems to fall forward.
Friday, Pope kept twisting and turning around defenders and finished with 182 yards and five touchdowns as Edison belted No. 10 Capistrano Valley, 42-27, in a nonleague game at Huntington Beach High.
Pope explained what drives him toward the goal line this way.
"I just keep going until I reach the end zone," Pope said, "then I know my job is done.
"We just really came together this week. We knew we were going to do it. We came in prepared. We weren't getting any [respect] at all."
Pope, who had 1,136 yards rushing last season, was one of the few experienced skill position players returning this season for Edison, where expectations were lower than in recent years.
But the Chargers are off to a 2-0 start thanks largely to Pope and a generous performance by Capistrano Valley, which had five turnovers that resulted in four touchdowns for Edison.
None was easier than the first when Capistrano Valley fumbled the opening kick-off and it was recovered by Edison's Marshall Hendricks at the Cougars' 14.
Pope later scored from the eight with 11 minutes 10 seconds left in the first quarter as he drove between a pair of defenders at the goal line. He added touchdown runs of eight, one and 13 yards in the second quarter and the Chargers led at the break, 28-0.
Pope's final score came on 40-yard run around the right end with 12 seconds left in the third quarter. Pope has 400 yards and nine touchdowns in two games this season. He had 12 touchdowns last season. His final touchdown came on his 29th and final carry of the game.
"Teams key on him," Edison Coach Dave White said, "but he's still getting it done. That says a lot about him."
Capistrano Valley's vision of getting back into the game faded when Edison's Brandon Cox intercepted a pass at the Cougar 14 with 7:36 left in the third quarter.
Edison overcame a holding penalty on the drive which was capped on an 18-yard scoring pass from Jason Kripavicius to Brendon Cornell who reached above two defenders in the end zone to make the catch.
Capistrano Valley scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including the final one coming on an 83-yard pass play from reserve quarterback Garrett Gray to Ryan Richards with 17 seconds left.
Capistrano Valley's Scott Stephan rushed for 109 yards, 107 of which came in the second half, in 18 carries.