COLUMBIA - Blue Springs running back Darrian Miller gave his team an early birthday present Friday.
The sophomore, who has his nickname Iron Man tattooed on his triceps, lived up to the moniker. Miller produced the bulk of the Wildcats offense on the night, running for four touchdowns and 180 yards on a eight carries in Blue Springs' (9-1, 2-1) 49-7 victory Friday over Rock Bridge (1-9, 0-3).
"It was a present for my team," said Miller, who turns 16 years old Saturday. "But my team is planning a surprise for me tomorrow."
Lineman Jordan Chrisman, a junior on the Wildcats who was standing next to Miller, wouldn't share what that surprise would be.
Miller scored on a 53-yard run on the Wildcats' second play of the game. He added two more touchdowns in the first quarter, and another 10 seconds into the second quarter. His night was soon over after that, after Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe began pulling his starters.
"Sincerely, I was nervous today," he said. "We've never had a game where we could relax. It's tough because you don't want to embarrass anyone."
The Wildcats ground game was the key cog in their attack as it churned out 305 yards on 42 rushes from 10 ball carriers.
Rock Bridge scored its only touchdown on an 18-yard run by running back Jaimonte Cooper toward the middle of the fourth quarter. The play was preceded by a 41-yard catch by wide receiver Mack Cooper.
Both seniors were playing in their final game of the season.
The final play of Bruins' 2008 season was a 3-yard catch by wide receiver Sheldon Gerau, who didn't put much value into it.
"It's just another catch," he said. "It's really nothing special. Just another catch in another game."
Gerau will play in Saturday's junior varsity game at Hickman High School at 9 a.m.
"I'm not going to be tired," he said. "We're just going to go out there and try to get a win."
After a second consecutive 1-9 season, Rock Bridge head coach A.J. Ofodile was optimistic about next year.
"It's cyclical," he said about teams' quality. "You go up and down. We had a lot of sophomores do well on JV and we've got some significant juniors coming back."