COVINA -- The night began with South Hills bursting through a banner that read, "Huskies run this town."
As it turns out, West Covina tailback Beejay Lee does.
The junior tore through South Hills' defense as if it were made of paper, despite only carrying the ball six times while splitting duties with three other backs. But Lee was effective when called upon, contributing three scores on 126 yards rushing to pace West Covina to a 42-27 win at Covina District Stadium.
Lee's legs secured the city's bragging rights for the next year. Less than two miles and exactly three stop lights separate South Hills and West Covina on Cameron Avenue.
"They're always favored," Lee said regarding rival South Hills. "We always come out ready to work and ready to win. We feel like we work harder than them at practice and we showed it."
The Bulldogs (2-1) ran away with it, the Huskies adding two late touchdowns that made the outcome more respectable. This was domination by West Covina's offensive line, which not only paved the way for Lee but also helped sophomore Jimmy Frazier reach the end zone twice on close to 100 yards rushing.
"When the run is working, it's hard not to keep running the ball," West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. "The kids did a great job of coming off the ball hard and playing with confidence."
It all started with Lee midway through the first quarter. The 5-foot-6 track star followed a 12-yard gain with a 20-yard scamper to break the scoreless tie. He broke yet another tie with a 21-yard dash 45 seconds into the second quarter.
That was just three carries in.
South Hills (1-1) showed it has its share of runners, too. Jordan Gutierrez rushed for 120 yards, while Jamel Hart added 117 and two scores.
But Lee was clearly the star of the show despite not getting any work in the fourth quarter. He picked his spots wisely, though. His final touchdown -- a 63-yard bolt -- came immediately after South Hills had cut the deficit to 28-14 in the third.
"I use my instinct to get around everybody and break free," Lee said calmly.
For at least one night, Lee ran this town.