The Real Leading Rusher

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Photo via John Glaser, TexasHSFootball.com

 

On November 16, 2012 the record books for career rushing yards were changed forever in high school football. After 59 years, the legendary Kenneth Hall had his record of 11,232 total rushing yards broken by Derrick Henry (Yulee HS Florida, Alabama, Tennessee Titans); but
what if I told you that Derrick Henry wasn’t the only person who broke Kenneth Hall’s record that night? Lance Morris rushed for more yards than Kenneth Hall that night as well, the only difference is that Lance plays 6-man football.

Fourteen miles outside of Snyder Texas, sits the town of Ira, and during the 2012 football playoffs, Lance Morris of the Ira Bulldogs was on the verge of history. On November 16, 2012 during a playoff game with Crowell, Lance found himself closing in on the elusive number 11,232. When the game was over, Lance had rushed for 386 yards on 30 carries, and 7 touchdowns, bringing his career total to 11,605 rushing yards; 373 yards more than Kenneth Hall and 8 yards short of Derrick Henry’s national record 11,613 rushing yards.

The following week, on November 24, 2012, Lance and the Bulldogs played the Rankin Red Devils in the regional round of the playoffs before coming up short 58-38. Lance rushed for 261 yards, on 33 carries, for 3 touchdowns, bringing his career rushing yard total to 11,866 yards, on
828 carries, for 179 touchdowns. An article on Maxpreps wrote by Kevin Asekland on November 28, 2012 stating Derrick Henry currently had 11,805 career rushing yards. The information in this article, which was published 4 days after Lance Morris played his last game means, that for one week in November 2012, it could be argued that Lance Morris held
the National Rushing Record as well as the Texas High School Rushing Record and almost nobody acknowledged it.

The debate on whether this record should be acknowledged or not is due to the slight differences between 6-man and 11-man football.
In 6-man the quarters are 10:00 min in length and the field in 80×40 yards, field goals are 4 points and the PAT’s are opposite from 11-man, you kick it and it’s 2 points or convert for 1 point. The first downs in 6-man are 15 yards instead of 10 yards and the QB can’t run the ball on a direct snap, there is also the 45 point mercy rule. The mercy rule takes place when a team gets ahead of another team by 45 or more points after halftime, then the game is over.

Now that we have established the differences in between the two games, let’s take something into consideration; Lance Morris and the Ira Bulldogs played a vast majority of games that ended by the mercy rule. Lance was able to accumulate 11,866 rushing yards in less clock time then Kenneth Hall used to accumulate 11,232. Along with having less actual clock time, Lance was also playing on a field with less yards to work with then Kenneth Hall, so couldn’t it be argued that it was actually harder to achieve what Lance did?

It’s coming up on 5 years since this historical season took place and to this very day if you were to ask people who holds the all-time rushing record in the State of Texas 9 out of 10 people will tell you Ken Hall. The main reason behind this is because only one official record database acknowledges that Lance Morris holds the record and that’s Smoaky.com.
My question is how in such a passionate, proud, and football driven state, is a historical record like this not celebrated?

I believe that due to the fact Lance Morris broke the record as a 6-man player and not 11-man people are afraid to give credit where credit is due. Instead of trying to make the claim that it’s an apples to oranges comparison because 6-man fields are 80×40 instead of 100×50
yards; why not honor the fact that Lance is the only other player in Texas High School football history, 6-man or 11-man to break a 59 year old record? People will want to say that it’s easier to obtain yards in 6-man, but when you obtain yards you are playing against the clock and if it
were actually easier for a 6-man player to get that many yards, why is he the only one to ever do it?
The one thing that can’t be coached at any level, whether it be 6-man or 6a is athletic ability and that is what helped Lance Morris achieve this milestone. Here is a list of the accomplishments and awards that Lance earned in his high school career.
Official records per Ira ISD:
Football Awards
All-District Newcomer of the Year – 2009-10
All-District Offensive MVP – 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13
All-District Runningback – 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13
All-District Safety – 2010-11
All-District Defensive Lineman – 2011-12, 2012-13
All-Region Runningback – 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13
All-Region Safety – 2009-10
All-State Newcomer of the Year – 2009-10
All-State Runningback – 2010-11, 2012-13
All-State Offensive Player of the Year – 2011-12
Official Statistics per Ira ISD: Carries Yards TD’s Games Yards/Carry Yards/Game
2009: 159, 2,551, 26, 11, 16, 232
2010: 240, 3,267, 56, 13, 14, 251
2011: 225, 3,263, 53, 13, 15, 251
2012: 204, 2,785, 44, 12, 14, 232
Total: 828, 11,866, 179, 49, 14, 242

We have all heard the saying numbers don’t lie and the numbers above are astonishing and rightfully deserve to be acknowledged in the record books. Now that I have explained the differences in between the two games, couldn’t you make the argument that Lance’s record should be the overall leading record in the state, no matter the classification? Records were made to be broken, even by kids that play 6-man football on Friday nights.

LANCE MORRIS– If it’s just backyard football and it’s so easy, then why don’t you come play it?

Let us know whether you believe Lance Morris rightfully deserves the title of All-Time Leading Rusher in the state of Texas; voice your opinion below, or visit texashsfootball.com on Facebook or Twitter!

 

 

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Jesse
Jesse
3 years ago

Isnt the record leading High School Rusher not leading 11man HighSchool rusher? I think his record should be celebrated even if it’s just by us small town folk!

Ken Smith
Ken Smith
3 years ago

With all due respect to everyone who plays or has played 11 man football, it’s still football! I’m sure if Lance had played 11 man, he would have been just as outstanding. I played both and l can tell you I’d much rather have 10 guys in front of me than 5. Both games are tough and exciting but hey, let’s give both what they deserve!

Justin
Justin
3 years ago
Reply to  Ken Smith

I played with lance in Ira he is one hell of an athlete he would of been a stud just as easily in 11 man.

John Weston
John Weston
3 years ago
Reply to  Ken Smith

So really he should be the titans running back instead of Travis Henry huh?

rapidroy
rapidroy
3 years ago

I never saw Lance play but have seen many 6-man games. ( I’m old)Lance also played both ways, offense and defense. Running backs in 11-man don’t do that anymore. On another note, how many receiving yards did he have? Sixman players like Lance are very talented and versatile and a joy to watch. I don’t care who you are.

Cowboy Parks
Cowboy Parks
3 years ago

The records shouldn’t be separated. Sixman is UIL sanctioned FOOTBALL. The fundamentals are the same and a yard is still three feet.

Dave Hanes
Dave Hanes
3 years ago

Having spent the past 9 years in a broadcast booth for Ira football games, I can assure you Lance Morris was the “real deal”. If the field had been another 20 yards longer, Lance would have gained over 13,000 career yards with his breakaway speed and elusiveness. I guess some folks just think 6-man football must be easy . . . . . Until you try it!

Barbara Bronkhorst
Barbara Bronkhorst
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Hanes

I have experienced six nan football for several years, with my son coaching and my grandson playing. Let me tell you, six man is so much more exciting to watch than 11man. It is very fast paced and heartstopping. I believe, without a doubt, that Lance unequivocally deserves that rushing title and record!!!!

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