It was as if Pasadena (Calif.) John Muir wanted to give Pacific League foe Glendale (Calif.) a one-drive reprieve on each side of the ball. On the Mustangs' first defensive drive, four-star defensive back Elijah Blades stood on the sideline. His teammates quickly forced a punt and the first drive of offense Blades was used only as a blocker.
But once he was unleashed after the first pair of drives, Blades went off in Muir's 62-26 win. He quickly proved he was the best player on the field with a performance littered with highlight plays and filled with solid fundamental tackling.
Blades scored three times on offense. He intercepted a pass. He was in on 15 tackles.
He had the play of the game when he reversed field on an option pitch and then cut through the middle of the defense before winding his way back to the pylon for a 38-yard touchdown.
It was a dominant performance for the Florida commit, who only played two full quarters before suffering a minor shoulder stinger early in the third quarter.
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound star seemed to be everywhere on the field. Everywhere except the position he is expected to play at the next level -- cornerback.
Instead, Blades lined up at safety because Pacific League teams have been scared to attack on his side of the field when he plays corner.
"It's a lot different," Blades said of playing safety. "You get a lot more action. Basically in my league nobody throws it to me at corner, so I just told the coach to put me back at safety and just see how it goes."
It went great.
"I loved it actually. I actually played it my freshman year, so I just wanted to have another feeling at it. Then I got a pick. You see the whole field."
Watch isolation clips, above, of Elijah Blades' dominant performance on both sides of the ball against Glendale.
Follow Shotgun on Twitter: @ShotgunSpr