IL H.S. football rushing record set in Rockford

James Robinson, a senior running back and free safety at Lutheran High School in Rockford, Illinois, broke the state rushing record on October 9 with a 25-yard scamper in the first quarter of the team’s Week 7 game against Byron. Robinson finished the game with 228 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Lutheran won the game, 56-19, which is par for the course, accumulating so far a 7-0 record in the West Division of the Big Northern Conference.

That record includes a 95-28 victory over Dixon on September 11. Voxitatis has individual game scores going back to 2007 for Illinois football teams, and that 95 is a record for the most points scored in a single game by one team going back at least that far.

  • Oct 6, 2007, Petersburg (PORTA) [Coop] d. Mendon (Unity) [U.-Payson Coop], 84-8
  • Oct 9, 2009, Jacksonville (Routt) d. Jacksonville (Illinois School for the Deaf), 81-12
  • Aug 31, 2012, Villa Grove d. Danville (Schlarman), 82-6
  • Sept 14, 2013, Woodstock (Marian) d. River Grove (Guerin), 81-7
  • Oct 3, 2014, Chicago Hope Academy d. Arlington Hts (Christian Liberty Acad.) [Coop], 82-0

Byron was Lutheran’s closest conference opponent but could be shut out of the playoffs, with two games remaining against not-so-weak conference opponents. Lutheran clinched a playoff berth last week with their sixth win and the conference title with the victory over Byron, the only team that could tie Lutheran in the win-loss record at the top of the conference.

Most rushing yards, career, Illinois high schools before 2015 season

Robinson secured the fourth-place position at the end of his junior year for the most rushing yards gained over a high school football career in Illinois. He had 6,584 rushing yards coming into the 2015 season.

  • (1) 8,477, Caleb Pratt, Westville, 2004-07
  • (2) 7,363, Henry Deters, Tolono (Unity), 2002-05
  • (3) 7,348, Rausell Harvey, Chicago (Dunbar), 1995-97
  • (4) 6,584 and counting, James Robinson, Rockford (Lutheran), 2012–
  • (5) 6,575, Justin Powers, Oneida (ROWVA), 1996-99
  • (6) 6,531, Justin Jackson, Carol Stream (Glenbard North), 2010-13

In just Illinois, Caleb Pratt of Westville held the record with 8,477 total yards before the season started, and Robinson was the only current player in the top 20.

Before Friday’s game, Robinson had 1,854 yards rushing on the season on just 72 carries, giving him an average of 25.8 yards per carry. That number is impressive on its own but doesn’t approach national records and Illinois doesn’t report this statistic.

For his rushing total, we add 228 yards from Friday’s game to the 8,438 he already had. He now has 8,666 rushing yards, putting him at the top of the list. The total will certainly increase during the remainder of this season, but his record is unlikely to fall anytime soon.

At the national level, Sean Wallace, a junior at A Plus Academy in Dallas, Texas, currently holds the record for rushing yards in just the 2015 season, with more than 2,200 yards. He has also thrown for about a thousand yards and has caught more than 10 passes for more than 300 yards. Robinson is fifth on the national list for rushing yards this year.

Most rushing touchdowns, career, Illinois, current stats

Robinson’s 1,854 yards this season, before Friday, include 35 rushing touchdowns. He had rushed for 114 touchdowns as of 2014, the Illinois High School Association reported. We add five from Friday’s game to that and extend his first-place position on the all-time rushing touchdowns list for the state.

  • (1) 154 and counting, James Robinson, Rockford (Lutheran), 2012–
  • (2) 115, Caleb Pratt, Westville, 2004-07
  • (3) 100, Rausell Harvey, Chicago (Dunbar), 1995-97
  • (4-tie) 86, Chris Moore, East St. Louis (Sr.), 1990-91
  • (4-tie) 86, Henry Deters, Tolono (Unity), 2002-05
  • (6) 85, Justin Jackson, Carol Stream (Glenbard North), 2010-13

This record is starting to look unbeatable.

About the Author

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more biographical information, see the About page.