Westfield senior running back Evan Royster is leading the Washington area in rushing yards, but he certainly isn't burning himself out in the process.
The 6-foot, 180-pound All-Met has amassed 898 yards and 13 touchdowns for the 17th-ranked Bulldogs, who are 4-0 and face Virginia AAA Concorde District foe Centreville on Friday night in a much-anticipated matchup of neighbors and top Northern Region programs. Yet, Royster has managed to gain more yards than at this same point last season -- in which he finished with 2,165 yards and 24 touchdowns -- with far more efficiency.
Royster has reached nearly 900 yards on 52 carries, including five touchdowns of 50 yards or more. After four games last year, Royster had generated 851 yards on 94 carries. He scored 13 touchdowns in the first four games this year and last year.
Although Royster added more strength to his frame during the offseason, Westfield Coach Tom Verbanic also attributes his success to the Bulldogs' much-improved passing attack.
"It's been kind of an amazing stat," Verbanic said. "We've been able to pass more, and that has made us a little more dangerous offensively. With his strength, he is able to beat one or two guys, and then has the speed to take it all the way. Obviously, he's off to a tremendous start."
Westfield quarterbacks Mike Glennon, the sophomore brother of 2004 Westfield graduate Sean Glennon, and Josh Whitmer, a junior, have combined to complete 26 of 46 passes for 437 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Bulldogs' offense, which is averaging 41.7 points per game, faces a Centreville team that is scoring 58 per game.
"A lot of people think it's going to be a shootout," Verbanic said. "I think people underestimate both defenses."