Blount Press Row

One For the Books

Tyson establishes rare rushing fantastic four
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Alcoa senior and Mr. Football finalist Jaquez Tyson delivered a legendary performance in Friday’s semifinal win at Chattanooga Notre Dame. Photo by Jenifer Clark

Six more carries, and there would have been state records crashing down all over the place.

Untitled-2Alcoa tailback Jaquez Tyson, the Barley’s/Blount Press Row Player of the Week, carried the ball a stunning 51 times for 268 yards and three touchdowns as the Tornadoes defeated Chattanooga Notre Dame, 28-19, in a Class 3A semifinal on Friday in Chattanooga.

The win lifted Alcoa’s Gary Rankin to the top of his profession as the state’s all-time winningest coach with 369 career victories. The veteran coach will look to add a record 11th state championship, the defending champion Tornadoes the program’s 14th, when Alcoa meets Christ Presbyterian Academy in the 3A BlueCross Bowl on Friday at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium.

Kickoff is 3 p.m. CST.

Now, about those 51 carries.

Tyson sets up a defender for a cut back.

Tyson sets up a defender for a cut back.

Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association records list only three players in the history of high school football in the state, with Tyson now the fourth, who’ve carried the ball 50 times or more in a game. Tyson’s Friday night epic ranks third all-time, just back of record-holder Jeff Womack’s 56 for Warren County in 1981 and 54 by Beech’s Dorian Carter last September. Jermaine Quinn carried an even 50 times for Memphis Northside in ’96.

Tyson, a finalist for 3A Mr. Football Back of the Year, carried a championship game record 49 times in last season’s BlueCross Bowl win over CPA, totaling 278 yards and three touchdowns.

To Tyson and the rest, we salute you.

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