Just when you think he's down, Lawrence High's Garrett Attig keeps running and running.
Attig, a 5-foot-10, 173-pound senior running back, rushed for 145 yards on 15 carries on Friday in the Lions' season opener, a 33-10 victory over Shawnee Mission Northwest at Haskell Stadium.
Attig, Lawrence's top returning rusher from last year, has had a knack for breaking tackles in his two years of varsity. His longest run on Friday was an 84-yard TD burst in the third quarter after he appeared to be tackled at the Lions' 20-yard line. He was going down, braced his fall and regained his balance.
"I just keep my feet moving and whatever happens, happens," said Attig, who gained 608 yards last year. "I seem to do the bear crawl a lot when I get off balance. I just don't stop. My feet keep going as I go into the pile too."
Attig's long run gave the Lions' a comfortable 27-10 lead after SM Northwest scored 10 unanswered points in the second quarter.
"He's not a real big guy, but he runs hard," said LHS coach Dick Purdy, who also uses Attig defensively in the secondary.
On the Lions' opening drive, Attig was a workhorse, rushing eight times for 38 yards, including a four-yard TD run.
Attig is Lawrence's go-to man in short yardage situations. Late in the fourth quarter on fourth-and-one at the Cougars' 35-yard line, Attig gained seven yards to keep the Lions' final drive alive.
For the most part, Attig was pleased with the Lions' effort in the opener.
"We have a lot we need to improve on," Attig said. They're were a couple of seeps in the our defense and problems in our defense. Everything had a little problems here and there, but I think we did all right for the first game."
Attig is already looking forward to next Friday's game against Olathe North in Olathe. O-North, ranked second in Class 6A behind Lawrence, beat the Lions last year.
"We're all excited about it," Attig said. "We're going to have hard practices this week and hopefully have a good game."