Woods Cross • Sean Barton took three or four defenders for an 11-yard ride the second time he touched the ball. He left them grabbing for air after bursting through the middle for a 92-yard touchdown the fourth time.
But his favorite moments Friday came on the other side of the ball: an explosive sack to force third-and-long then he threw a block on the next play that helped free up Junior Vailolo's 70-yard interception return for a score.
"I like hitting kids," Barton said. "I like getting physical."
Mountain Crest defenders discovered the Woods Cross star's versatility when he rushed for 174 yards in the Wildcats' 23-20 home victory Friday. Pac-12 Conference defenders might discover the same thing in two years.
Barton, whom Rivals.com ranked as the state's No. 2 recruit and one of the country's top 25 safeties, already has committed to Stanford.
He led the Wildcats in rushing touchdowns (nine), reception yards (903) and tackles (92) last season.
Barton has added even more muscle this fall with the help of longtime personal coach Matt Neve. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounds Barton hasn't lost any speed, either. Woods Cross coach Justin Spencer said he's never seen a more athletic player at the high school level.
Stanford also quickly recognized it. The Cardinal was one of the first programs to offer a scholarship, beating most of the dozen other programs that ended up knocking at Barton's door.
Barton said the early entry helped give Stanford an edge, with academics and campus atmosphere pushing the school past Washington, Utah and BYU.
"They were interested, and I got more time to go out there, spend time with the coaches," he said. "I went out there six times."
As a result, Barton will suit up for Stanford in 2015 after serving an LDS mission. He chose the Cardinal despite a grandfather who played at the University of Utah and a family full of Ute fans.
"Some of them were pretty disappointed in me," he said.
The recruiting process took him by surprise. Offers first trickled in last season, followed by an onslaught around May and June.
"I didn't feel like I put myself out there a lot," he said. "I was pretty happy. They started in really fast, and that was surprising to me. There were a lot of them."
He's glad the decision is out of the way so he can keep focused on the season. And paired with quarterback Skyler Farnes, who rushed for 150 yards last week, the Wildcats have a formidable ground attack that could push deep into the 4A playoffs.
Woods Cross has outscored its opponents 103-39 to open 3-0, the program's best start in nearly a decade.
And the wins may keep coming as long as Barton keeps rolling over defenders.
Woods Cross two-way star Sean Barton is the state's second-ranked recruit.
The Stanford commit led the Wildcats in rushing touchdowns, reception yards and tackles last year.
Barton helped Woods Cross to a 3-0 start with 580 yards on offense and four touchdowns.