State FB Records: Elite Rushers

Branden Rankins of San Bernardino Aquinas was leader of team that won a CIF Southern Section title and ended 14-1. Photo:

We have completed the task of updating all-time state football records for most yards rushing single-season and career. The big news is adding San Bernardino Aquinas’ standout Branden Rankins to No. 2 for a career. He is one of only four in state history to have gone past 8,000 yards but still needed 255 more to reach 9,000, where the only one above that still is Norco’s Toby Gerhart. For single-season rushing, Tulare’s Kazmeir Allen gets slotted in at No. 14 on the all-time state list. Go inside to see list of everyone from 2017 season who are now on these all-time state lists.

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RELATED POSTS FOR GOLD CLUB MEMBERS: Most Yards Rushing (Career) | Most Yards Rushing (Single-Season)

Often when a particular state record file gets updated or added to the Cal-Hi Sports state record archives on, it’s not just about the new players. It’s looking back and getting yet another reminder of a record total that may last for many, many more years.

Take the new category of most yards rushing in a career, for example, that has just been added today to the on-line record book. Branden Rankins from Aquinas of San Bernardino had an outstanding four-year career for the Saints. He piled up 3,032 yards during the 2017 season and finished with a career total of 8,745 yards. That’s a number that easily puts him in second-place in the history of California prep football.

Justin Keeling of Moreno Valley View makes all-time state list for both single-season and career rushing. Photo:

Rankins doesn’t even come close, however, to the state record set in 2005 by Norco’s Toby Gerhart. As soon as Toby got eligible to play for the Cougars as a freshman on the varsity in 2002, he was a monster. Sure, he was playing for his father, Todd, the Norco head coach at the time, but he was an immediate star and then in his junior and senior seasons Toby went for over 3,000 yards twice. Gerhart, who later finished as a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy when he was at Stanford, ended his career with 9,662 yards.

Even with all of the yards that Rankins got, he still needed more than 900 to reach Gerhart. With the way teams are now slinging the ball all over the place, a running back doing what Gerhart did in those years at Norco is difficult to fathom.

Rankins becomes one of only four in state history to rush for 8,000 or more yards in a career. After himself and Gerhart, the only other two would be Lorenzo Booker from St. Bonaventure of Ventura (1999-2001) and Edgar Segura of Mendota (2011-2013).

The next highest newcomer on the all-time career rushing list is Tulare’s Kazmeir Allen. He’s more known for scoring a national record 72 TDs in 2017, but the UCLA-bound speedster also ended with 6,276 yards in three seasons.

Allen began to get his yards as a sophomore when senior standout Romallo Harris went down with injuries. Harris played for Tulare beginning in 2012 and capped his career despite missing time as a senior with 7,311 yards. And that’s not Tulare’s school record, either. That still belongs to Dominique Dorsey, who had 7,761 yards in four seasons from 1998 to 2001. Tulare is in fact the only school in California history to have two 7,000-yard career rushers and neither one of those two is Allen.

Others from the 2017 season who have been added to the all-time state list for career rushing are Joseph Garcia of Strathmore (6,250 yards); Sal Tovar of South El Monte (6,229 yards); Justin Keeling from Valley View of Moreno Valley (6,139 yards); Gonzalo Rodriguez from Golden West of Visalia (5,304 yards); Travis Dye of Norco (5,105 yards); and Tyler Allgeier from Kaiser of Fontana (5,086 yards).

Allen led the state in rushing yards as well as scoring in 2017 and had 3,336 yards. His total goes into the state record files at No. 14 on the all-time single-season list. Rankins went over 3,000 yards with his 3,032 while another to go over 3,000 was Tyquan Gilmore from Torres of Los Angeles with 3,266. Those three also join a list of just 32 others (one player did it twice) who have rushed for 3,000 yards in a season.

All of those players plus all of those reported at more than 2,500 yards are now on the all-time state list. Other new ones from 2017 are Eteru Ane from Silver Valley of Yermo (2,885); Keeling (2,872); Garcia (2,849); Alex Jung from Sunny Hills of Fullerton (2,632) and K.C. Carr of Tustin (2,567).

Mark Tennis is the editor and publisher of Cal-Hi Sports. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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