Capistrano Valley Christian (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
head coach Dan Dodd said that he first knew Ben Sukut
was a special athlete when a P.E. teacher clocked him under 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash — as an eighth grader.
Less than a year later, this past Nov. 1, Sukut showed Dodd and the rest of the country just how special he is by returning four interceptions for touchdowns in one half of football.
The feat, which is believed to be a national record, took place in a 55-14 victory over Southlands Christian.
Sukut returned interceptions of 103, 36, 47 and 32 yards. At the time, Dodd and his staff did not realize how rare the feat was.
"It wasn't until after the game that our stat guy said that Ben had four interceptions returned for touchdowns. I thought that had to be a national record," Dodd said.
In fact, the national record for most interceptions returned for touchdowns in a single
is six. Sukut tied that record this year. The NFHS also tracks the most interceptions returned for touchdowns in a quarter (2), but not in a game.
Sukut's four interceptions in a single game, let alone a single half, are almost certainly an unofficial national record.
And according to Dodd, he nearly had a fifth.
"He had his hands on fifth pass, a tipped ball. It would have been an amazing catch. If he had caught it, he might have gone the distance," Dodd said.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Sukut has started both ways for Capistrano Valley Christian since the beginning of the season.
He's also an offensive weapon at receiver, where he leads all ninth-graders nationally with 1,252 yards on 89 catches. He also hauled in 11 touchdown passes.
Sukut has received mail from several Pac-12 schools, Dodd said. As his film circulates, he'll likely become a coveted recruit in the Class of 2016.
Dodd, who spent over two decades coaching at the college level, believes Sukut is good enough to play college football right now, as a high school freshman.
"My last year at Tulane as the offensive coordinator, he would've been in our rotation. And that's the gospel."
Sukut's big performance vaults him into the discussion for National Freshman of the Year honors alongside Tyhree Pratt
, Antonio Williams
, Ocatvious Cooley
and others. That honor will be announced after the season.
For now, Sukut will have to settle for one of the greatest defensive halves in high school football history.Check out three of Sukut's interceptions in the video below.