Salpointe Catholic has four more games yet to play in the regular season, plus at least one more in the state playoffs. That’s at least five more opportunities for Bijan Robinson to build on a state rushing record that will likely stand for many years to come.
The record he broke Friday night against Sahuaro High was on the books for the last 17 years. No telling how long Robinson’s final career numbers will go unbeaten.
Robinson, Salpointe’s senior running back, used a 133-yard rushing performance against the Cougars to eclipse the old big-school career mark of 5,878 yards set by Marcus Thomas during his 2000-2002 prep career at Tolleson High School. Robinson needed just 85 yards to set the new record, which he accumulated before halftime.
The way Salpointe is playing this season, there’s every reason to believe this team will go deep into postseason play. The Lancers are 5-0 and have outscored opponents, 305-61. Their lowest scoring output in any one game was 54 points.
More games means that many more carries for Robinson to pad his lead.
Consider this: Robinson is averaging about 220 yards per game, which is over 23 yards a carry. It wouldn’t be out of the question for him to pile another 1,000 yards on to his totals. That would put his record out of the reach of most mere mortals.
Who would be willing to bet against Salpointe scooping up this year’s 4A state title, giving Robinson plenty of opportunity to push the new record out of sight?
However, the Lancers may be dealing with a bigger challenge in the postseason since they will almost certainly be one of the eight teams that qualify to play in the new Open Division, pitting the best teams from 4A, 5A, and 6A against each other. Salpointe is currently ranked No. 2, behind Chandler High.
That means competing in those final games of the season against larger schools with more talent than those the Lancers have faced so far. And that means a bigger challenge for Robinson to post the kind of rushing numbers he’s been enjoying.
But Sahuaro was no push-over. The Cougars came into the match-up with Salpointe undefeated through the first six games, ranked No. 2 in the 4A rankings and No 7 in the Open Division.
But Robinson, who also broke the state big-school record for rushing touchdowns with 86, still put up impressive numbers to lead Salpointe to a 58-13 romp. He ran for four touchdowns, pulled down a pass for another on the way to 62 yards on three catches, and walked away with 206 yards of total offense. Oh yeah, he also used a couple of kickoff returns to add 104 yards to his night’s work.
They stopped the game when Robinson picked up the final yard he needed to break the record to present him with the game ball.
You have to wonder how many more times he will be honored like that before he heads off to play for the Texas Longhorns next year.
Another game-ball presentation could be just weeks away. Robinson has 96 career touchdowns, which means he’s just seven TDs away from the five-year-old record of 103.