Commentary

Players on the verge of records

Updated: October 22, 2009, 1:49 PM ET
By Doug Huff | ESPNRISE.com

Each week, ESPNRISE.com senior editor Doug Huff takes a look at high school football players who may be about to surpass significant state or national records. (Based on games through Oct. 18):

Mark McDonagh
Position:
Wide receiver
School: Riverside-Brookfield (Riverside, Ill.)
What: Needs 11 receptions to break the national season record. With 143 catches, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior has broken the state record of 130.
Record: 153, set in 2007 by Jason Bird of Lake Travis (Austin, Texas). Bird's total was not in the latest version of the National Federation record book, leading to reports that McDonagh had already broken the national record.
Notable: Earlier in the season, McDonagh set Illinois records for catches in a game three times, with a best of 25 in a 49-7 win over Elmwood Park (Elmwood Park, Ill.).

Michael Dyer
Position:
Running back
School: Little Rock Christian (Little Rock, Ark.)
What: Needs 28 yards to become the state's career rushing leader. Dyer faces Lakeside (Hot Springs, Ark.) on Friday.
Record: 7,122 yards, set in 1996-98 by Vernon Hicks of Elaine.
Notable: Dyer has rushed for 340 and 315 yards in games this season. The four-year regular was the EA SPORTS National Sophomore of the Year in 2007.

Alex Hart
Position:
Quarterback
School: Jordan (Sandy, Utah)
What: Tied a national record with eight touchdown passes in the first half of a 54-6 win over Taylorsville (Taylorsville, Utah). Jordan led 54-0 at halftime and Hart didn't play in the second half.
Record: Eight, shared by four players who did it in five games. Chris Redman of Louisville Male (Louisville, Ky.) threw eight TDs twice in halves of games in 1994.
Notable: Hart broke the Utah record for TD passes in a game. Four players shared the former record of seven.

Kip Smith
Position:
Kicker
School: Legacy (Broomfield, Colo.)
What: The 24-year-old national field goal distance record might be in jeopardy this season. Smith opened the season, and observers' eyes, when he booted a 67-yarder against Mountain Range (Westminster, Colo.).
Record: 68 yards, set in 1985 by Dirk Borgonone of Reno, Nev.
Notable: Smith's 67-yarder bettered the state mark of 64 yards set in 2001. The University of Minnesota recruit has also kicked field goals of 52 and 51 yards this season.

Zach Hocker
Position:
Kicker
School: Russellville (Russellville, Ark.)
What: With 14 field goals in seven games, Hocker could threaten the national season standard.
Record: 22, shared by three players including Jimmy Stevens of Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.), the current University of Oklahoma kicker.
Notable: Hocker, a senior, kicked a 49-yard field goal in last week's 31-21 win over Van Buren (Oklahoma City, Okla.).

Hutson Mason
Position:
Quarterback
School: Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.)
What: Broke the state record for passing yards in a game with 545 (and six touchdowns) in a 56-32 win over Milton (Milton, Ga.).
Old record: 524 yards, set by Ron Hinson of Lamar County (Barnesville, Ga.) in 1977.
Notable: The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Mason passed for 3,705 yards in 2008. The state record of 3,710 yards was set by Jeremy Privett of Charlton County (Folkston, Ga.) in 2003.

Jared Toney
Position:
Running Back
School: Alcoa (Alcoa, Tenn.)
What: With 30 touchdowns in eight games for the unbeaten Tornadoes, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior is threatening the state record. He has two regular-season games left plus the playoffs for the state's top-ranked Class 3A team.
Record: 48, set by Kelcey Williams of Humboldt in 1995 and Ralph King of Murfreesboro Riverdale in 2000.
Notable: Earlier in the season, Toney scored six touchdowns in a 41-24 victory over Maryville, the state's winningest program the last decade.

Zach Laughlin
Position:
Defensive back
School: Moorefield (Moorefield, W.Va.)
What: Tied the state record for interceptions in a game with five last weekend in a 42-0 victory over East Hardy (Baker, W.Va.).
Record: : Shared by five players; the last time it had been done was 1989.
Notable: Moorefield had eight interceptions against East Hardy. The Yellow Jackets played in eight straight state Class A title games in 1996-2003 and won six championships (four in a row in 1996-99).

Scotty Young
Position:
Quarterback
School: Ryan (Denton, Texas)
What: With 29 touchdown passes in seven games, Young could threaten the state standard for TD passes in a season.
Record: 67, set in 2003 by Graham Harrell of Ennis.
Notable: The 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior passed for a state-best 65 touchdowns as a first year starter in 2008. He's bound for Texas Tech.

Doug Huff covers high school sports for ESPNRISE.com. He is considered the founder of the National Federation of State High School Association's National High School Record Book.