Oak Grove's Graham dominates Grain Valley
By Michael Smith The Examiner
No team has been able to stop Oak Grove star running back Aaron Graham this season.
Grain Valley didn’t have any success either. The senior gashed the Eagle defense for 243 yards on 26 carries and four scores en route to a 54-7 thumping of the host Eagles Friday night.
“He’s having a great year,” Oak Grove coach Pat Richard said. “Aaron will be the first one to tell you, it’s because of his lineman. He’s running with daylight and doing a good job. He’s a phenomenal talent with great vision. If he gets in the open field one-on-one with somebody, he’s probably going to miss him.”
Graham spearheaded a Panther's rushing attack which totaled 418 yards, including an 141-yard day from Landon Cairer. He displayed his ability to elude tacklers and showed off his breakaway speed, just two of the many attributes which have Graham receiving offers from FCS schools like Southeast Missouri State, Illinois State and Coastal Carolina.
“They had a lot of guys coming off the football hard,” Eagles coach David Allie said of the Panthers. “Our game plan was to come inside and come off the pad level, but we played pretty high. We didn’t come off like we wanted to. That allowed them to bounce some runs to the outside.”
Graham credited his success to the extra time he put in the weight room, which helped him gain strength to breaktackles. Since his freshman year, Graham has gained 30 pounds of muscle.
“I feel like I am more powerful than I was last year,” Graham said. “Coach is always pushing us to hit the weight room in the morning and after school. Over the summer all we do is lift, and that’s helped me get a lot stronger.”
It definitely has paid off as Graham’s stellar season continues, with his total rushing production coming to 1,559 yards and 20 touchdowns. Each game, the senior sets a simple goal for himself, one which he achieved in every game except Week 2 against O’Hara when he fell a touchdown short.
“Me and my dad have set a goal to get 100-plus yards and at least one touchdown a game,” Graham said. “It’s something I can get each game, and is something that pushes me.”
Appleton City Bulldogs
Oak Grove Panthers
Central Heights Vikings
St. Joseph Benton Cardinals
Santa Fe Chiefs
St. Thomas Aquinas Saints
Olathe East Hawks