September 27, 2011
Nothing about Melquawn Pinkney's previous performances made you think he was in for a record-setting game when he took the field on Friday night against Agawam (Mass.) High School. The Putnam (Mass.) High School running back had produced respectable showings in his team's first two games of the season, rushing for 85 and 109 yards and totaling three touchdowns.
While they were decent numbers, nothing made you believe he was going to set the world on fire -- until he scored on a 72-yard run that broke the game wide open for Putnam. Later in the first half, Pinkney scored again from 26 yards out.
That's when things started to get interesting. As MassLive.com reported, Pinkney wasn't done, as he scored from 40 and 26 yards out to end the first half with an eye-popping 298 yards and four touchdowns.
"My line was blocking really well tonight," Pinkney told MassLive.com after the game. "The receivers and everybody were playing a good game. I work off of my family."
To put into perspective how good Pinkney's performance was against Agawam, the next highest rushing total in the Western Massachusetts area on that particular night was nearly 61 yards behind the running back's incredible first-half rushing numbers.
Pinkney went on to finish the night with 421 yards and six touchdowns, breaking the Western Massachusetts rushing record of 411 yards, set in 1999 by Matt Livermore of Minnechaug.
In total, Pinkney had touchdown runs of 72, 70, 50, 41, 26 and 26 yards on the night. Even more amazing, he managed to break the rushing record and score six times on just 17 carries, averaging 24.8 yards per carry.
Even better news for Pinkney was that his team defeated Agawam 66-0 on the night, making the record-setting performance that much sweeter.
If colleges weren't paying attention to the speedster prior to his incredible game, it's safe to say they will be after seeing the numbers he racked up in one of the top performances of the early season.
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