It wasn't conventional for second-ranked Clovis West High.
Kendall Brock, the franchise, left that lethal fifth gear on the bus because of a leg cramps and a well-positioned Clovis North defense and rushed for only 111 yards on 22 carries. Yet he still scored four touchdowns.
"The cramps really affected me throughout the game," said the senior who arrived averaging 190 yards a game and 9.1 a carry.
But on this historical Friday night at Buchanan's Veterans Memorial Stadium, in their first football game against Clovis North, the Golden Eagles also pounded the middle behind bullish fullback Jordan Brown and an effective line to defeat the No. 8 Broncos 35-27 in a Tri-River Athletic Conference opener.
Brown rushed for 90 yards, quarterback Ian Hall 50 and Hunter Burns 37 as Clovis West (5-1) pounded the plus turf for 304 of its 395 total yards.
"In my high school career, this was my toughest game running, and I credit every single yard to the offensive line," said Brock, who increased his state second-leading touchdown total to 25.
If Brock had five game balls, he would have awarded them to tackles Jeff Barth and Chad Specht, guards Will McComas and Patrick Markarian, and center Jack Horstmann.
And Brown agreed: "The O-line did a great job. The holes were there and the cutback lanes were there."
Brown then pointed to first-year coach Mike Parsons, whose unorthodox shotgun wing-T offense resulted in a state small-schools bowl title and 15-0 season for Modesto Christian last year, and now has the state's 19th-ranked Eagles in flight as well.
"Coach Parsons does a great job of recognizing," Brown said. "When the defense is doing something wrong, he'll do something right off it."
Clovis North coach Tim Simons was in awe of the Clovis West offense, also coordinated by Jerry Campbell, the former Clovis High coach.
"They are really a good team," said Simons, a former 24-year Cougars coach himself, "but their offense is a machine -- a virtual machine. It really didn't matter what we did, we couldn't stop them."
But his Broncos (2-4) and their first class of seniors had a definite shot, trailing only 21-20 early in the third quarter on a 22-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Toles from Chris Mariscal, who would pass for 206 yards, despite a perfect 53-yard would-be TD that was dropped in the first half.
A key sequence had first-year linebacker Curtis Palacio sack Mariscal for a 16-yard loss early in the fourth quarter, and then Clovis West responded with a 13-play, 71-yard drive capped by a Brock 2-yard run behind Brown's block for a 35-20 lead with 3 minutes and 25 seconds remaining.
In the march, Brown carried six times for 35 yards, and Brock converted two third-down runs.
"Well, you can tell we're in the TRAC now," said Parsons, whose team has only lost 34-33 on the road to the state's No. 16 Crespi-Encino.