Tuesday, October 29, 2002
Jacobe Krizman needed only 204 yards against Crook County last Friday to become the first rusher in Oregon 4A football history to cross the 2,000-yard mark during the regular season.
But instead of merely setting a new standard, Krizman redefined the standard by racking up a season-high 352 yards on 44 carries to give him 2,148 yards in eight games — just 274 yards short of the state record of 2,422, which was set by Mark Maher of Lake Oswego in 13 games last season.
He still has one regular season game and at least one playoff game left to surpass Maher’s record. But if Krizman merely runs for his season average of 269 yards per game, he will shatter the record and go down as the most explosive running back in Oregon high-school football history.
“The crazy thing is, if we had blocked well against Crook County, I may have been able to rush for more,” said Krizman, who is steadily building his case for 4A state player of the year.
“He may already have 3,000 if we played the way we should have,” added offensive lineman and lifelong friend, Nate Dethman.
Krizman’s fourth 300-yard performance of the season was also his highest total of the year, and he established a new HRV school record for the third time in 2002.
He also ran for three more touchdowns, giving him 28 rushing and 32 total TD’s on the year, which are also new school standards.
“I think the best thing about this year is seeing Jake now compared to freshman year,” Dethman said. “Seeing how far he’s come and being a part of that turn-around is a pretty awesome feeling.”
Like Dethman, senior linemen Tommy Owyen, Matt Cody, Danny Phelps and Jared Gidley have come a long way with Krizman, and have helped pave the way for his incredible success this season.
But, while Krizman’s individual accomplishments are awe-inspiring to most, his teammates believe he’s always had it in him.
“We’re never worried about him getting his yards,” Owyen said. “They just come. We focus on winning and let the yards take care of themselves.”
And so far, it’s worked.
In six Intermountain Conference games, Krizman has compiled rushing totals of 331, 340, 253, 233, 313 and 352. His lowest total of 233 yards would be a monster game for most running backs, but you won’t get Krizman to boast about his accomplishments.
“My first goal is to win football games,” he said. “Any records come second. No distractions are going to make me or anyone else on the team forget about our goal of winning in the playoffs.”
And now that the regular-season record is in the books, Krizman and the Eagles can focus on just that.
They will get back to business this Friday at home against 4-2 Mountain View, which has the No. 2-ranked defense in the IMC and is coming off a big 30-23 win over rival Bend.
“We’re going to pound ‘em this week,” Krizman said. “The main thing will be to get the defense going so we don’t put pressure on our offense.”
But with an offense that averages 52 points and nearly 500 yards per game, that doesn’t seem like a worst-case scenario.