The Piedra Vista football team's 2012 season is off to a flying start with a 4-0 record, a No. 4 ranking in 4A and an offense that is averaging 48 points per game.

A large part of that success is thanks to running back Beau Clafton.

In PV's win against Santa Fe on Friday, Clafton exploded for 123 yards and a touchdown on just three carries and caught an additional two touchdowns on passes from quarterback Isaiah Valdez.

Clafton, a junior, noted the experience he gained as a sophomore to the success he's had so far this season.

"I can see what's going on," he said. "I know what I'm doing, so I can faster, go through the reads and do what I need to do."

The running back's growth this season has caught the eye of the Panther coaching staff.

"Beau's always been a good athlete," said PV head coach Jared Howell. "He started for us as a sophomore, but as a lot of sophomores do, he made sophomore mistakes. He always had the athletic ability and potential. It's good to see because he wants to succeed. He works hard, and he's real coachable."

Howell said Clafton is a "key cog" in the Panthers' offense, which has the second-highest point total in 4A.

"We've been blessed to have a lot of diversity in the team, and we've got a lot of explosiveness," he said. "Beau's one of the those big, explosive players. If you give him touches, then he can do some big things. Beau is one of the guys I thought could have a big year, and he's really living up to that.



No matter how explosive a running back is, however, they are only as good as the offensive line who blocks for them, and Clafton was quick to point out how crucial his line has been in his success.

"I have to trust in my line," he said. "They are a great line. They are experienced and block for me up front. It's a good feeling knowing that they have my back. Without those guys, I'd be nothing."

Clafton would like to continue playing the game in college, but said he has a lot of work to do before thinking too much about it.

"It'd be nice to do something after high school, but I got to focus on what's going on in high school first," he said.