There is only one player in state history who comes close from a record-breaking standpoint to what Folsom’s QB did this season and that was a running back from Ventura in 2000.
Late in the third quarter of Folsom’s 68-7 romp past Oceanside in the CIF Division I state bowl game on Friday, just as it was realized by some in the press box that Folsom’s Cole Thompson had yet to catch a touchdown pass that would break the state single-season record, he caught one on a 1-yard pass from senior QB Jake Browning.
With the TD, Thompson improved his season total to 34 and broke the previous record of 33 set in 2011 by Deontay Greenberry from Washington of Easton. Greenberry, it should be noted, played two less games.
“I wanted it, just a little bit, but the ring and the brothers on this team I played with, the moments and relationships mean more than any record,” Thompson told Cal-Hi Sports.A huge majority of the record-breaking this season by the Bulldogs, of course, came from Browning, who finished the night against Oceanside hitting on 23 of 30 passes for 353 yards and six TDs.
In a career that began with a 10-TD pass outing against Woodcreek of Roseville as a sophomore, he wrapped up three seasons and 46 games with astronomical state career records of 1,187 completions in 1,703 attempts for 16,689 yards and 229 TDs.
The previous state records that Browning broke were 11,022 yards for career passing by Michael Herrick of Valencia (2003-05) and 145 touchdowns for career TDs by Jimmy Clausen from Oaks Christian of Westlake Village.
His 229 career TD passes is a national record while his 91 TD passes for this season ties the national record of 91 set in 2008 by Corey Robinson from Lone Oak of Paducah, Ky.
There is one Cal-Hi Sports state record that Browning just missed setting on Friday. That would be for most yards passing in one season, but the record he missed was his own. Last year, Browning passed for 5,737 yards. This year, playing one more game, he ended with 5,704.
As a team, Folsom also set a new state record by scoring 915 points in its 16 games. The Bulldogs eclipsed the previous best of 880 set in 1994 by Bloomington. That Bloomington team also held the national record for many years and it was reported during Friday’s game that Folsom had broken the national record as well, but a total from last year’s team at Aledo (Texas) had yet to be shown on the National Federation list.
Despite the dizzying totals, another state record Folsom did not get – and wasn’t even that close to really – was the one set last year by Centennial of Corona for most yards total offense for one season. Folsom ended Friday with 8,230 in 16 games. Centennial had 9,047 last year in 15 games.
“It was definitely a goal to go 16-0 from the beginning of the season,” Browning said. “It feels great to do it with this team. It’s been a long time coming, but still it’s indescribable.”
Browning has yet to throw a pass in college, but hopefully will be on his way to a great career at the University of Washington. Regardless of what he does later on, he’ll go down as having a prep career similar to those of Jason Kidd in boys basketball, Lisa Leslie and Cheryl Miller in girls basketball, Lisa Fernandez in softball and Marion Jones in girls track.
The only football record-breaker ever covered previously by Cal-Hi Sports who comes even close to Browning was Ventura running back Tyler Ebell, but that was just for one season (2000) and not for a three-year career.
Still, Ebell’s accomplishment of rushing for 4,495 yards in that season for a 14-0 team was similar to Browning because Ebell broke the previous state record by nearly 1,000 yards. If Ebell had played 16 games, he also probably would have rushed for 5,000 yards.