During the summer, the Tarpon Springs coaches kept telling tailback Adrian Golden the same thing:
"This isn't Pasco County."
But Friday night, it sure seemed like it was.
Against Palm Harbor University, Golden, a senior who transferred from Gulf in June after setting a Pasco County season rushing record in 2008, was sensational in the Spongers' 40-10 win.
The first time he touched the ball, Golden went 93 yards for a touchdown on the opening kickoff. Later, he scored on a 50-yard run and a 59-yard reception. By game's end, he had 285 all-purpose yards.
And he touched the ball only 11 times.
"His cutbacks are what hurt us," first-year Hurricanes coach Mark Haye said.
Golden's Tarpon Springs (1-0) teammates did their part, too. Quarterback Wyatt Wikle threw for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Tailback Darius Daniels had 82 yards and a touchdown. Placekicker Michael Hill made field goals of 41 and 32 yards. And the defense held Palm Harbor U. to 209 total yards.
The Hurricanes (0-1) fought hard, even after getting some early bad luck. On their first offensive series, starting quarterback Ja'Tyuan Landing injured his right ankle and didn't return.
But behind backup Billy Pavlock, Palm Harbor U. hung tough and closed to within 12-10 on a 7-yard Pavlock run early in the third quarter.
A few minutes later, though, Golden answered with his50-yarder.
"We," Tarpon Springs defensive tackle Brodrick Lee said, "knew we had them."