Chavez Academy (Detroit)
football coach Tarif Kumasi knew his team's two-hour trip north to Mayville was special on Friday night. He just didn't know how special.
If the team statistician's numbers are confirmed, Chavez Academy receiver Nate Drew
will be the owner of a national record.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound senior hauled in 17 passes for 459 yards and seven touchdowns in a 64-41 win at Mayville, and according to the NFHS Record Book, that would break the single-game
yardage record of 456
set last season by Waldport (Ore.) junior Kraig Pruett
Drew caught all of his passes from 5-10, 155-pound sophomore Omar Salih
, who broke at least two state records by completing 32 of 52 passes for 689 yards and nine touchdowns.
According to the MHSAA website
, Salih shattered the single-game yardage mark of Swartz Creek (Mich.)
senior Brendon Fitch
who passed for 603 yards Sept. 13 in a 77-61 victory
over Kearsley (Flint, Mich.), The touchdown pass mark was eight, set by Cooper Rush of Catholic Central (Lansing)
Kumasi knew Salih had approached the state records. He had no clue about Drew's national mark.
"It's awesome," he said by phone Saturday. "I'm speechless. You don't think about records when you're in the heat of the game. That's all we do in practice is run these passing plays and you never imagine something like this."
Because the team's starting tailback missed the game, Chavez Academy didn't execute a designed run the entire game. And, with a three-score lead in hand, Kumasi said his team knelt on the ball its last three possessions — the final six minutes of the game.
Kumasi, who started the independent football program four years ago, said the people of Mayville were so hospitable he definitely didn't want to run up the score. It was also Mayville's homecoming.
Needless to say, everyone saw something special.
"Our statistician told me at halftime, 'You're not going to believe this, but (Salih) has 350 yards,'" Kumasi said. "I thought 'Wow.' I knew if they kept scoring we were going to keep passing. I saw on film coming into the game they play a soft cover 3. I knew we'd pass for a lot. I didn't know that much."
Pruett's previous receiving record was
threatened on Thursday
when Alexander (Laredo, Texas)
senior Marc Lozoya
caught 16 passes for 448 yards and six touchdowns.
Drew now has 70 catches for 1,379 yards and 19 touchdowns this season after hauling in 36 passes for 906 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. Kumasi said his big receiver received college attention from Syracuse and Pittsburgh, among others, last season. He's now working hard on his academics.
"He's a character, a classic receiver type - outgoing, fun, not shy about wanting the ball," Kumasi said. "He's a real good kid."
Salih has completed 157 of 331 passes this season for 2,560 yards and 27 touchdowns. He's thrown 16 interceptions, including four on Friday. Kumasi said the 15-year-old has limitless potential.
"He's a gunslinger," Kumasi said. "He's still growing into his body. He's very cerebral. He knows the game and studies it constantly. It's football, football and more football with him."
Chavez Academy is 3-4 on the season and has been involved in some crazy games. The winning scores of its seven games have been 69, 63, 40, 44, 40, 56 and 64.
"We put five out wide almost every play, so it lends itself to a lot of offense," Kumasi said. "Our games tend to be a lot of fun."