Downey running back
Ian Larsen had plenty of time to study Downey High's offense a year ago, averaging just five touches a game while backing up Joe Byous. That gave him plenty of time to pick up the subtleties in coach Jeremy Plaa's spread offense, and Larsen put that knowledge to use in Downey's 40-32 win over Golden Valley.
Larsen was slated to start at halfback, but shifted to tailback to replace an injured teammate and carried 18 times for three TDs and a career-high 238 yards. He also caught four passes for another 52 yards.
"Regardless of where he lines up, he will probably touch the ball 15 to 20 times a game," noted Plaa, who coached Larsen on the sophomore team in 2006. "He was one of our best players (on the sophomore team)."
While Larsen had touchdown runs of 77, 66 and 16 yards, Plaa said he still has room for improvement: "He needs to improve his pass blocking, but so does everyone."
-- RICHARD T. ESTRADA