Give him some goggles and one of those funny mouthpieces. Better yet, just keep giving him the ball.
Albert Fann of Cleveland High has the running style of Eric Dickerson. And similar statistics.
In leading Cleveland to an 18-7 nonleague win over Chatsworth on Friday night at Chatsworth High, Fann thundered for 243 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. Albert had the Hunters grasping at Fanntoms.
And no prima donna is Fann. After an offensive series, the 6-2, 205-pound senior stood on the bench while one teammate after another approached him for guidance. "Albert, which way should I block the nose guard?" the center asked. "Albert, should I take my man left or right?" another lineman wanted to know.
Fann, looking fresh and sporting a small diamond earring, answered each query patiently before retaking the field to pierce through the Chatsworth defense once again.
"I love it," Fann said. "I didn't get tired at all. I want the ball."
Sound familiar, Ram fans?
Cleveland needed every one of Fann's yards because quarterbacks Mario Hull and Jamie Grossman, both juniors, completed 3 of 14 for 26 yards between them. That might also sound familiar to Ram fans. Other than the fact that Hull is 6-4 and Grossman is 5-10, there was little difference. It was easy to get the signal-callers crossed.
So, when Chatsworth took a 7-6 lead into intermission, Cleveland Coach Steve Landress, who wanted desperately to use a balanced offense, did the smart thing. He told the quarterbacks to stop worrying about throwing the ball forward and just turn around every play and toss in backward-- into Fann's hands.
On Cleveland's first possession of the third quarter, the team used 14 plays to chew up eight minutes and 85 yards. Fann carried on 12 of the plays, caught a five-yard pass on another and scored on a one-yard leap.
"Albert Fann is the man," Landress said. "I went into the game hoping to share the wealth, but when it came down to it, Albert gets the ball."
Said Chatsworth Coach Myron Gibford: "Their big horse is better than anything we have."
Actually, Cleveland's last touchdown drive gave Landress a chance to mix in another name. Fullback Peter Woods, who had not carried the ball all game, gained seven, then 17 yards on successive carries to advance the Cavaliers to the Chatsworth 12. Fann gained 10 on the next play, then Woods scored from the two.