We’re continuing to get all of our exclusive state football record files updated before the start of the 2023 season. For this post, the focus is on running backs. We begin with a lesson why every coach, parent or media member cannot simply look at a MaxPreps state season list without clicking on each name to see if there is perhaps missing info on a player. That missing info for one player meant the difference to being added to an all-time state list or not having enough yards.
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Reported state stat leader lists that appear on the MaxPreps.com site are invaluable and have become a great resource not just for continuing to update all of our own all-time state lists but for all-state team selections.
One of the first team all-state running backs from last season was McClymonds of Oakland senior Jaivian Thomas. Known as the Jet, Thomas helped the Warriors win another Oakland Section title and then he rampaged for 307 yards rushing to lead Mack past Lemoore, 49-35, in the CIF D2-AA Northern Regional bowl game.
On the reported state leader list, Thomas was shown with 2,456 yards rushing for the season, which at first glance would leave him short of getting onto the all-time state list. The bottom total on that list is 2,514 yards. But looking closer at what was shown for Jaivian’s season it was clear that any yards from the actual state title loss to Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista were not reported for him. We were there so the CIF’s own game stats were easy to find and although Thomas was held in check for most of the game by the Crusaders he did end with 72 yards. Adding 72 to 2,456 and that then became enough yards (2,528) for Jaivian to make the list.
The addition of Thomas plus two other seniors from last year — Dijon Stanley of Granada Hills Charter (2,756 yards) and Troy Leigber of Laguna Hills (2,695 yards) — also has now been completed.
All three of those players had at least three playoff games and for Stanley and Leigber they both had six games to add lots of yardage to their totals. That’s why in addition to most yards rushing for a season we also have a separate category for most yards rushing for a regular season (not including playoffs). There were two players who have made the all-time list from last season — Delon Thompson from St. Bonaventure of Ventura and Andrew Camarillo of Orosi. Both of them only had one playoff game so their overall season totals were surpassed by many other players. It’s also noteworthy that Camarillo was the only junior of the bunch. He thus returns as the top returning rushing leader in the state for this season.
None of the single season rushing leaders from last season (both overall and regular season) had the type of career over four seasons that enabled any of them to gain all-time state listings. Some of that is because they only were able to play a handful of games during the 2020-21 school year due to COVID.
One player who made a name for himself as a freshman in 2019 and despite the short COVID season still was able to pile up enough yards for a career to gain a state listing was Kai Hall from St. Vincent de Paul of Petaluma. Kai had 1,773 yards and 19 TDs as a freshman in 11 games in 2019. In his senior season last fall, Hall surged for 1,957 yards and 29 TDs for a 12-1 squad guided by head coach Trent Herzog. For his career, Hall finished with 5,740 yards and 76 TDs in 42 games. In addition to going onto the state list, Kai also broke the Redwood Empire record of 5,418 yards set in 1997 by Chris Ludlow of Tomales.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF ALL-TIME STATE SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING LEADERS, CLICK HERE.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF ALL-TIME STATE REGULAR SEASON RUSHING LEADERS, CLICK HERE.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF ALL-TIME STATE CAREER RUSHING LEADERS, CLICK HERE.
BEST GAME FOR A RUNNING BACK LAST SEASON
Considering the competition was a team that would later win the CIF D2-AA state championship, the outing that Roderick Robinson from Lincoln of San Diego had last season against Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista in an early showdown of top-ranked teams in the CIF San Diego Section was without question the most impressive by a running back in the state.
Robinson carried 32 times and piled up 476 yards for the Hornets in leading them to a 56-20 victory. The future University of Georgia recruit also was widely reported to have tied a section record by scoring eight touchdowns. We don’t understand why records set by players before the section was formed in 1960 don’t count there, but they sure do for our records and eight is not close to the state record of 11 by Frank Greene of Coronado in 1929. Roderick’s big game also is No. 3 all-time in the section and is on the all-time state list. He would later be named Mr. Football State Player of the Year and Lincoln later won the CIF D1-AA state title.
Robinson also wasn’t the only San Diego Section player to rush for a single game total that made it onto the all-time state list. Major Givens from Steele Canyon of Spring Valley had 454 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-10 win against Grossmont of El Cajon.
The only other new total from last season was from junior Andrew Camarillo of Orosi. The small school all-state RB led his team to a 28-14 triumph over Woodlake by carrying 41 times for 436 yards and three TDs.
Eric Terrazas from Sierra Vista of Baldwin Park didn’t make it onto the state list with 410 yards in a 60-13 victory against Bassett of La Verne (it takes just a few more yards), but what stood out about that one is that Eric got those yards in just 16 carries. He also had five TDs in that win.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF ALL-TIME STATE SINGLE GAME RUSHING LEADERS, CLICK HERE.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF ALL-TIME STATE SINGLE GAME SCORING LEADERS, CLICK HERE.
LEIGBER, NICHOLSON LEAD 2022 SCORING LEADERS
As a junior in the 2021 season, versatile running back Blake Nichelson of Manteca led the state in scoring points with 288 on 44 touchdowns with 11 2-pointers and a safety. He almost matched it as a senior despite concentrating a bit more on defense with 43 touchdowns and 266 points.
Nichelson didn’t repeat as state scoring leader, however, due to the historic season put up by Orange County Offensive Player of the Year Troy Leigber of Laguna Hills. Leigber, who played 16 games in leading Laguna Hills to the CIF D3-A state title (beat San Jose Bellarmine in the final), scored 52 touchdowns and had 312 total points.
Nichelson is now playing outside linebacker at Florida State. Leigber is walking on at UCLA.
Those were the only two players added to state record lists for single season scoring, but there are three others besides Nichelson going on for career scoring. Leigber isn’t one of them as he didn’t really get rolling in his career until his senior season.
Nichelson, who probably would have reached 100 or more career touchdowns if he had been able to have a normal sophomore season instead of one cut short by COVID, wound up his career with 90 touchdowns and 576 points.
One player who did have a freshman season in 2019 in which he scored 19 touchdowns, Kai Hall of Petaluma St. Vincent de Paul, went on to the all-time state list with 81 career touchdowns. The other two new entries from the 2022 season are graduated seniors Markus Macon from Palo Verde Valley of Blythe (76 career TDs) and Beau Bruins from Riverside Ramona (74 career TDs).
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF ALL-TIME STATE SINGLE SEASON SCORING LEADERS, CLICK HERE.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF ALL-TIME STATE CAREER SCORING LEADERS, CLICK HERE.