Posted: 4:47 pm Friday, November 16th, 2012
By Matt Porter
UPDATE: Derrick Henry broke Ken Hall’s career rushing record Friday night. He topped Hall’s record on a 52-yard touchdown run against Perry-Taylor County in a Class 4A state playoff game. Henry finished the night with 482 yards and six touchdowns on 58 carries. He now has 11,612 yards and 148 TDs in his career.
Taylor had 213 yards and four touchdowns in a Class 2A regional semifinal win over Hialeah-Champagnat Catholic. From freshman year on, Taylor has 10,314 yards. He passed Toney Baker for fifth all-time.
While Henry adds to his new national record, Taylor needs 919 yards to move ahead of Hall for second place.
Glades Day senior running back Kelvin Taylor is still after the national rushing record that has been untouched for nearly six decades, but he’s not alone.
Taylor, a four-star Florida commit, has 11,745 career rushing yards headed into the postseason. He passed the mark of 11,232 set by Texas legend Ken “The Sugar Land Express” Hall in the last game of the 2012 regular season, rushing for 287 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-54 loss to South Fork.
Technically, he is still short of the national record. Taylor’s total, which includes 1,584 yards from his eighth-grade season at Glades Day, is considered the state record. Since the National Federation of High Schools recognizes totals compiled from grades 9-12, his 2008 numbers do not count.
(Meanwhile, Yulee’s Derrick Henry needs just 103 yards to break the four-year national mark. More on him in a moment.)
Not including his eighth-grade season, Taylor has 10,161 yards. Heading into Friday’s Class 2A regional semifinal against Hialeah-Champagnat Catholic, he would need 1,072 yards in the playoffs to pass Hall’s mark of 11,232.
That seems like a lot, but he’s done it before. Taylor rushed for 1,163 in the 2009 playoffs and followed with 1,212 in 2010, including a then-state-record 437 yards in the regional finals against Jupiter Christian. Glades Day won state titles in both years, competing in four playoff games.
Last year, Glades Day played three playoff games, losing in the state semifinals to St. Petersburg-Admiral Farragut. Taylor finished with 723 yards.
Entering his final postseason, Taylor is one of six players in history to rush for 10,000 or more yards in high school. One of the others: Henry, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound wrecking ball who bowled over Glades Day defenders Sept. 28 on his way to 364 yards and six touchdowns in a game shown on ESPNU.
Henry also plowed through the rest of the career rushing leaders this season. Heading into Yulee’s first-round Class 4A playoff game against Perry-Taylor County, the four-star Alabama commit has 11,130 yards, needing just 103 yards to set a new national mark. Since he’s rushed for more than 100 yards in every one of his 44 high school games — a national record — chances are pretty good he’ll be your new all-time leader.
Hall, by the way, is 76 and living in Texas. The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) caught up with Hall this week to talk about Henry’s chase for the record.
Depending on how far Glades Day and Yulee advance this postseason, Taylor could finish his five-year career with the state mark. He’ll definitely be the state’s all-time leader in touchdowns (he currently has 186; Henry is second with 148). He’s one of six high-schoolers in history to rush for 10,000 or more yards. This is also certain: we’re watching two players prep football fans will never forget.
MOST HIGH SCHOOL CAREER RUSHING YARDS
11,612 — Derrick Henry (Yulee) 2009-present
11,232 — Ken Hall (Sugar Land, Texas) 1950-53
11,045 — Michael Hart (Nedrow Onondaga, N.Y.), 2000-03
10,895 — Kevin Parks, Jr. (Mount Ulla West Rowan, N.C.), 2006-09
10,314 — Kelvin Taylor (Glades Day) 2009-present*
10,241 — Toney Baker (Jamestown Ragsdale, N.C.), 2001-04
*note: only totals from grades 9-12 count toward National Federation of High Schools records; Taylor has 11,825 yards since eighth grade, which is considered Florida’s state record.