Spillman: "They can't stop me this year!"

<b>LEXINGTON, KY</b> Pleasure Ridge Park standout JuJuan Spillman opened the 2004 season with a great performance Saturday night against Lawrence County.

JuJuan Spillman might be the most versatile weapon in the Commonwealth this season.

Saturday evening against Lawrence County, the 5-foot-11 speedster from Pleasure Ridge Park made an impact on the game from five different positions. He saw action at tailback, carrying 15 times for 108 yards with a 21-yard scamper around left end. He returned a punt 38-yards for another score, made six solo tackles and broke up a pass while playing both safety and cornerback and caught one pass for 14-yards and a first down from his receiver slot. Not bad for a guy who might also be the top basketball prospect in the state, too.

Spillman was a difference-maker
against Lawrence County
"I've been waiting for this since basketball season ended," Spillman said. "I knew this was going to be a big ball game and I just tried to get my team motivated. We lost our last game last season, so we wanted to get the season started right today. It feels good to come down here and win."

Everyone knows about Spillman's blazing speed. But he's also got incredible vision, can cut on a dime, has great balance along the sideline and accelerates like few others. On the punt return, for instance, Spillman took the ball on the left hash, bounced wide to the right looking for a seam, saw the smallest of holes, shook a defender or two and was off to the races.

"I just believed in my team," Spillman explained of the return. "My guys made one big block and I made a few guys miss tackles and I just took it to the house."

Spillman says he and the Panthers have a lot to prove this season and felt somewhat slighted by the preseason rankings. Sometimes critized for his emotional displays on the field, the senior was clearly in command and the on-field leader that his teammates looked to Saturday night. At some point, Spillman will decide between a basketball or football career at the next level...likely football. For now, though, 'Spill' just wants to win football games and prove to sceptics that the Panthers shouldn't be taken lightly.

"I've got a lot to prove," Spillman admitted. "It's a personal thing to us this year and we feel like we have to prove a point to everybody we play. They can't stop me this year and I promise you that."

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