"Mr. High School Sports" – Spanning the States
Never was there a better time for me to rehash the old saying about how records are meant to be broken. While Week 7 of the WPIAL football season was being played, high school history was being made on gridirons elsewhere in the Commonwealth, and beyond. You might say one of the winningest teams in the nation won’t be going “streaking” any longer.
Yes, the Clairton Bears have won 22 in a row, and have a great shot to run the table again in Class A, but how do they measure against a certain North Carolina school and its own winning streak? Not only do we have a new passing king in one district, but also a new rushing king in another. And don’t laugh, but I think I’ve finally found a football team Detroit can be proud of. With some help from our friends at MaxPreps.com, here are the latest high school football headlines from all over the greatest (sports) country in the world:
AUBURN HILLS, MI – We typically revere players who gain 1,000 yards in a single season because of the awesome level of skill and consistency it takes to reach that goal over a full season. But imagine seeing that many yards gained…in a single game. Well, imagine no more, because last Friday, it actually happened. Westside Christian Academy (Detroit, Michigan) defeated host Oakland Christian (Auburn Hills, Michigan) 46-0, but this was no “ordinary” 46-point rout. The Warriors rushed for 642 yards and passed for 487 to set a United States single-game high school record with 1,129 net offensive yards. According to the National High School Record Book the original single-game record was set by Happy Camp (Happy Camp, California) High School in 1967 with 912 yards. The ringleader of the latter-day offensive circus was Westside tailback Dilaneo Dawson (pictured left), currently being recruited by nearby Michigan and Michigan State, who rushed for 362 yards and three scores on just 14 carries.
CANTON, OH – Remember when I told you about a kid named Jared May? No worries, I’ll jog your memory. Earlier this season, as mentioned in this blog, the senior quarterback for Canton South (Canton, Ohio) threw nine touchdown passes in one game, which tied a state record and just barely missed the national mark. Last Friday, May finally did set a new national record, albeit in defeat. The Wildcats bowed to visiting Marlington (Alliance, Ohio) 35-18, and in the process, May threw for 446 yards and two TD’s, while setting a national single-game record with 87 attempts. In addition, he became the fourth American high school QB in recorded history to complete 46 passes in one game, which is also a record. The old record for single-game pass attempts was set in 2001 by Brian Kaufmann of Hill-Murray (Maplewood, Minnesota) with 83.
ST. MARY’S, PA – Blink and you missed it…Kyle Smith’s reign as Pennsylvania’s all-time passing champ, that is. Smith set the PIAA career yardage record during Lancaster Catholic’s run to the Class AA state championship in 2009, but less than one full season later that record has fallen. In District 9 action last Saturday, Brockway (Brockway, Pennsylvania) senior quarterback Derek Buganza (pictured left) completed 21 of 29 passes for one touchdown and 268 yards in a 35-14 triumph at Elk County Catholic (St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania) to become the all-time state passing champion with 8,549 yards, beating Smith’s record by four yards with two regular season games to spare. It’s rather timely that a movie just came out about Secretariat, maybe the greatest Triple Crown winners of all, because you might say Buganza now has a triple crown of his own. In addition to the career passing yardage record, he also holds the PIAA records for single-season passing yards (3,824 as a junior) and single-game passing yards (594 in Week 4 of the 2009 season).
POTTSTOWN, PA – Strange as it may sound, on the same night the PIAA career passing record was broken, southeastern Pennsylvania had a new career rushing champion. Ryan Brumfield (pictured left), a senior tailback for Owen J. Roberts (Pottstown, Pennsylvania) in District 1 carried 24 times for 329 yards and four touchdowns to go with one defensive score in an 49-20 upset of defending Pioneer Athletic Conference champion Pottsgrove (Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania). Brumfield is now the all-time District 1 leader in rushing yards with 7,451, breaking the old record of 7,413 by Curtis Brinkley of West Catholic and moving him past Brinkley into sixth on the PIAA’s career rushing list. Brumfield is averaging 241 rush yards per game this year and needs just 196 to pass WPIAL all-time leader Mike Vernillo (Fort Cherry) for fifth in state history.
REIDSVILLE, NC – For those who think your team has a shot at the longest active high school football winning streak in the country, that goal just became a bit less lofty. Going into last Friday’s action, the Reidsville (Reidsville, North Carolina) Rams, a 2-A team in North Carolina that has won three consecutive state championships, also possessed America’s longest active streak with 55 straight wins, their last loss coming at the hands of Cummings (Burlington, North Carolina) in the quarterfinal round of the ’06 state playoffs. Unfortunately for the Rams, history repeated itself, as the visiting Cavaliers stunned Reidsville last week 28-7, so Reidsville falls way short of the North Carolina record of 109 straight wins by Independence (Charlotte, North Carolina) 2000-07. This also means that America’s longest ongoing high school football win streak now belongs to another North Carolina squad, the West Rowan (Mt. Ulla, North Carolina) Falcons, a 3-A team with 39 straight victories.
(Special thanks to the Post-Gazette and the Philadelphia Inquirer for their contributions to this post.)
For more of the latest news and views on and off the gridiron, be sure to check out The Post-Gazette High School Football Show Presented by First Commonwealth Bank with the Post-Gazette’s Mike White and MSA’s Don Rebel. Due to Pitt’s noon kickoff against Rutgers, catch us at a special time this week: Saturday morning 7:00-9:00 on SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan and 937thefan.com!