CEDAR HILL — The Fox Warriors option offense is modeled after the military academies and with a conference championship on the line, junior quarterback Brock Inman executed it with surgical precision.
Inman gained 136 yards on the ground and guided his team to six successive touchdown drives, leading Fox to a 42-14 victory over Northwest Cedar Hill to win the Suburban West-National League title for the fourth successive season.
Fox (7-2, 4-0), which gained 394 yards rushing, won its 18th consecutive league game.
Inman started his huge day on the first play of the game. He faked a handoff into the line and rambled 62 yards over right guard for a 7-0 lead just 20 seconds into the game.
“We knew we had to hit them strong like we did last year and that’s what we did,” Inman said. “We had extra blockers that led me through that hole.”
It was one of several option runs where Inman made the perfect decision as to whether to hand it off, keep it himself, or pitch it to his trailing running back. It's a skill he has mastered over the season.
For the first four games of the year, Fox did not score more than 21 points in any game. Since then, Inman has led the offense to at least 35 points in four of the last five games.
“He’s gotten better every game,” Fox coach Brent Tinker said. “The more power we give the kids on the field to make decisions, it helps us grow a lot for sure.”
Northwest mounted an impressive 11-play opening drive on its first possession, moving to the Fox 8-yard line, but defensive back Jahaud Thompson stepped in front of a Trey Davis pass in the end zone, giving the ball back to the Warriors.
“I saw him throw the ball and I thought, 'this is mine,’ Thompson said. “It just ended up in my hands.”
Inman went back to work. He kept the ball for runs of 11 and 13 yards and then allowed his running backs to get into the action. Luke Pisoni ran for 13 and 24 yards. Chase Maxey carried it into the end zone from 4 yards away for a 14-0 lead.
It was the first of three touchdown runs for Maxey, who relishes his role inside the 10-yard line.
“I’m going across that (goal) line no matter what,” Maxey said.
The Fox defense quickly forced a Northwest punt and senior Carson Elwood took the first play 36 yards up the heart of the defense. One play later, Thompson blasted through the line from 18 yards away for a 21-point advantage.
“The line gave me the lane, it was open, it was there and I finished it,” Thompson said.
Northwest (5-4, 2-2) mounted its most productive drive of the half with a balanced mix of run and pass. Quarterback Trey Davis found Jack Watson and Dalton Hografe for first downs and then Hografe took a pitch 29 yards to the 1-yard line. Johnny Daffron punched it in from there to give the Lions some momentum.
That momentum was systematically removed by an 11-play, 64-yard drive that used up most of the second quarter. Inman ran for 11 and 13 yards, found Jake Waters for a 15-yard completion and tossed to Maxey for a 10-yard touchdown.
The Warriors scored touchdowns on all four of their first-half possessions, gaining 263 yards on the ground and averaging 12.5 yards per carry.
“I don’t think we’ve done that before. I think we were just feeling it tonight,” Thompson said.
Northwest mounted an impressive 11-play touchdown drive to open the second half, capped off by a 2-yard run by Jeffery Hughes to cut the deficit to 28-14. Then, the Lions recovered an onside kick moments later, but the Fox defense held and gave the ball back to its explosive offense to score two more times.
Inman showed off his arm on the final touchdown with a perfect 10-yard fade route to Jake Waters.
“Brock has a complete skill set, he’s a good runner and has a very good arm,” Tinker said. “The sky might be the limit for him.”