Aledo (Texas) High running back Johnathan Gray has been rewriting the Texas high school football record books for the last couple of years. Earlier this season, Gray set the career scoring record, passing high school legend Ken Hall on the list; he also became only the third back in state history to rush for over 10,000 career yards.
Needless to say, Gray is sure to go down as one of the greatest players in Texas high school football history. Based on the number of Hall's records Gray's been breaking recently, it wasn't a surprise to hear that Hall's single-season scoring record was shattered on Saturday during a playoff game.
Of course, most assumed it was Gray breaking the record. They were wrong. The running back moving to the top of the list was actually Devine (Texas) High's Joseph Sadler, who scored his 441st point in a 56-42 Class 3A regional playoff victory against Wharton (Texas) High.
As the Victoria Advocate reported, Sadler scored 50 of Devine's points -- he also kicked six extra-points to go along with his seven touchdowns -- shattering Ken Hall's single-season mark. With the incredible night, he's now only 13 points away from breaking the national single-season scoring record.
While most players would have been overjoyed to break a high school football record, Sadler wasn't even worried about the accomplishment during the game; all he cared about was advancing to the next round of the playoffs.
"One of the guys on the sidelines told me congratulations during the game and I said, 'Let's win the game first. It will mean more if we win the game," Sadler told the Victoria Advocate. "If we lose the record is nice to have but it doesn't mean anything if we don't win the game.'"
With the win, Sadler gets a shot in the next round to increase his lead on not only Hall, but also on Gray, who happens to be 63 points behind Sadler on the single-season scoring list.
The ironic thing about this whole story is that for as much attention as Gray has received over his entire high school career, nobody ever stopped to consider the possibility that someone else could break Hall's single-season scoring record besides Gray.
In the end, it was an unheralded kid from Devine who appears to be a couple wins away from keeping Gray from breaking yet another mark. But here's the crazy thing about this whole situation: With both teams still in the playoffs, there's still a chance that if Devine loses and Aledo wins, Gray could break Sadler's record in the coming weeks.
For now, we have to wait and see if the outcome over the weekend changes things. One slip-up could certainly give this story a final twist before it's all said and done.
- Ken Hall