Usually, reaching a threshold of 1,000 yards in any stretch of time -- be it a season, two campaigns or even an entire career -- is an impressive accomplishment. That may help put what Aledo (Texas) High running back Johnathan Gray just accomplished in proper perspective: After yet another monstrous Friday night performance, Gray crossed the 10,000-yard mark for his four-year career ... with more performances still to come.
As reported by the Dallas Morning News, Gray's 321 yards during Aledo's 59-23 victory over Mansfield (Texas) Summit High in the Texas Class 4A Division II Region I state playoffs made him just the third running back in state history to rush for more than 10,000 yards in a career.
Incredibly, Gray still sits some 1,224 yards behind the state's all-time leader, former Sugar Land (Texas) High star Ken Hall, who accumulated 11,232 yards between 1950-53. While that mark might seem out of reach for most athletes, it's actually not outside the realm of possibility for Gray, who would need to average 306 yards per game in the four potential remaining games he could play (if Aledo reaches the state title game) to break Hall's mark.
Of course, rushing yards aren't the only statistics Gray has been racking up at an astounding pace. The senior Texas- commitment also scored five more touchdowns against Mansfield Summit, increasing his season total to 55 touchdowns, four behind the state record he set last year. The five Friday scores also pushed his career mark to 195 touchdowns, just nine behind the national record set by former Michigan and Colts running back Michael Hart.
Gray's 1,172 points also stand just 79 behind Hart's all-time national mark, leaving that record just 13 touchdowns away (which would require Gray to score three touchdowns per game in all but one game -- in which he would need four -- to break the national record, if Aledo reaches the state title game).
Given just how prolific Gray has been during his career -- he averages more than a point-per-carry -- the idea that he's likely to slow down when the competition heats up is hardly a likely conclusion.
Will Gray be able to keep up his incredible, record-setting pace and shatter multiple national and state marks in the coming month? Much of that fortune depends on whether Aledo can continue to win, a factor which relies on both Gray's health, the team's offensive balance and its forthcoming matchups.
Still, given the team's success -- the Bearcats improved to 10-2 with the win on Friday -- and Gray's refusal to slow down, anyone doubting the running back does so at their own potential peril.