Extra Points: Brian Spano 9/2
By Brian Spano PrepsKC Senior Writer
Gather round everyone, and let me tell you about one of the singular greatest high school football performances in these parts. It happened not all that long ago…just last week in fact. It’s definitely one of those sports moments that I’ll remember where I was when it happened.
Last Friday night at Blue Springs, Rockhurst running back Jordan Walker did the unbelievable, the unthinkable, the unfathomable and maybe even the unmatchable. He rushed for a school record 415 yards as the curtain opened on high school football in Missouri. Oh, did I mention he scored all five of his team’s touchdowns as well, four on the ground and one through the air, leading the Hawklets to a 35-20 win.
This broke the old school record held by one Kenyon Rahseed of 275 yards. And for those who don’t remember, Rasheed went on to star for the University of Oklahoma and then play three years in the NFL with the New York Giants and New York Jets.
Walker’s coach, Tony Severino, would say after Friday’s game that if he stays healthy he will be the best running back in the state of Missouri and even told him earlier in the week that Friday night was his night. It was going to be his breakout night to show people who he is.
It didn’t take long. Walker had 130 yards rushing by the end of the first quarter and 215 by halftime. He scored on runs of 16, 60, six and five yards, and caught a pass for 26 yards for the other score.
“He was our Darrian Miller tonight,” Severino said with a smile.
Nice praise from the head man in reference to Blue Springs All-State running back who graduated last year.
After that kind of performance on a warm and somewhat humid evening, you’d think the wheels and motor would be a bit worn from overuse, but Walker looked more at peace following the game. That may be attributed to what he does before the game.
“I always have pregame ritual where I spend about 20 minutes praying to God,” Walker said of his performance. “I just want to thank Him for tonight. This is unbelievable. I would have never thought this could have happened to me. It’s an emotional rush right now. I’m on a roller coaster with so many emotions. I almost cried during our team meeting after the game. I never heard of that before. Just to come out here and do that is an honor, and I’m glad to represent Rockhurst High School.”
Walker has stepped into the shoes of Noah Pearl who was lost to graduation, and according to Severino, Walker was the guy that lifted Pearl last season.
“We always considered Jordan Noah Pearl’s shadow. Jordan was the best thing that happened to Noah last year, and I’ve been telling the kids this year, we need to find another Jordan Walker because every time Noah started feeling sorry for himself or hurting a little bit all I had to do was yell ‘Jordan!’ and he would go in and rip off about 10 or 12 yards three or four times, and Noah would come over and go, ‘Coach, I think I’m feeling better.’ Jordan rushed for 650 yards last year, so it’s not like this was a surprise.”
Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe knows a thing or two about star running backs. Darrian Miller was running wild for the Wildcats last season and was a finalist for the Simone award. Donohoe knew what he was up against Friday night.
“That’s a heck of a back,” Donohoe said of Walker. “That’s as good of a back as there is in Missouri, and we knew it. We knew it coming in that that fullback and tailback were really special. We knew how big they were. We tried to load the box up, and couldn’t get it done.”
So, after just one game into the season and an opposing coach that is aware of his talents, Walker will surely garner Division I interest.
“I’m so happy for him,” Severino said. “They’re going to be talking about him. He may have gotten himself a Division I scholarship tonight. You know where Jordan may have earned that DI scholarship? The pass catch. When he caught it, I said, that will get him an offer. Everybody in the country is going to be calling me tomorrow.”
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