When Norwalk running back Trevon Raymore follows his offensive line and sees an opening, his eyes don’t get bigger. He doesn’t get any extra nervous energy, or change his approach and vision.
“Six. That’s all I see when that happens,” Raymore said. “Six points, touchdown. Just get me a seam.”
Seems easy enough.
The Truckers (6-1, 2-0) — ranked No. 10 in the latest Division III Associated Press state poll — saw a lot of that in last week’s SBC Lake showdown at Sandusky.
A 5-foot-10, 223-pound senior, Raymore ran the ball 40 times for 407 yards and six touchdowns in a 52-35 win over the Blue Streaks. Both teams had entered the game with identical 5-1 records and ranked in the state poll and the top four in Region 10.
With the performance, Raymore broke the single-game record for rush attempts (John McCarty, 35 vs. Willard, 1974), yards (Breck Turner, 327 vs. Edison, 2014) and rushing touchdowns, which was done three different times.
That record stood in some fashion for 74 years, held by Chuck Sweet (vs. Fremont SJCC, 1944), Don Sweet (vs. Bellevue, 1946) and most recently Dustin Crabtree (vs. Keystone, 2011).
But the numbers don’t stop there.
In the unofficial OHSAA record book, Raymore’s 407 yards is the 52nd game in Ohio history of 400-plus rushing yards by one player. It its tied for the 34th-most yards in Ohio history, and Raymore is one of 47 different players to reach the feat. That includes current Kansas City Chiefs star Kareem Hunt, and two past Mr. Football award winners (Curtis Enis, Tyrell Sutton).
However, when it comes to all the gaudy numbers — just don’t ask Raymore for any insight or knowledge.
He doesn’t ever know.
“Not at all,” Raymore said. “(Assistant) coach (Steve) Andres told me it was 400-plus yards and I was confused by it. He said I had 286 at halftime and I was stunned.
“It was unbelievable, but no, during a game I don’t process the yardage,” he added. “I don’t pay attention to it at all.”
But perhaps the most meaningful record to fall on Friday was the team team rushing mark. The previous single-game record was 451 yards vs. Clyde by the 1974 Class AA state champions.
The Truckers ran for 452 yards in the win at Sandusky.
“It’s a huge win and a great experience for the whole team,” junior left tackle Trey Leroux said. “Having to go against a team like that, and do something like break an old record — it’s a great team accomplishment.”
Added right guard Josh Neuberger, “Our coaches really set us up with technique and great blocking game plans, and we just go out and execute the best we can so Trey can do his thing.”
Raymore said he is reaping the benefits of his front five. The group of Leroux (6-8, 315), Neuberger (5-8, 175), center Kaleb Bauman (6-1, 235), right tackle Logan Weinert (5-9, 270) and left guard Gabe Phillips (6-1, 190) are all juniors.
“I love those guys — all underclassmen,” Raymore said. “They have come a long way and I have to give them a lot of credit for what we’ve been able to do so far.
“And the receivers have blocked well, too,” he added. “But the line, to see how far they have come this year is crazy. We just need to keep getting better with our penalties and turnovers — but it’s a real solid group.”
First-year Norwalk coach Todd Fox talked about the group effort that has allowed the Truckers to rush for 1,865 yards and 23 TDs — paced by Raymore’s 1,548 yards and 19 TDs on 190 attempts.
“It’s a combined unit effort and Trevon ran the ball, but he relies on his blocking and he’ll be the first to tell you that,” Fox said. “If I ever asked him what play to open a game with he will always say a pass play — he never wants to run the ball.
“For a guy who had the ball in his hands 40 times — he’s OK if he doesn’t have it,” he added. “It’s a team effort, and we look forward to seeing what we can do the rest of the year with that group.”
As for the records, Raymore can remember standing along the fence at Whitney Field in a junior high football jersey when Breck Turner was a finalist for Mr. Football. Currently a redshirt junior at Eastern Michigan, Turner ran for 2,795 yards and 33 TDs in 2014 as the Truckers went 11-1.
“Of course that’s when I was a little lineman thinking I wanted to be a running back just like him,” Raymore said. “He was amazing and loved watching him … I looked up to him.”
Also adding some spice to last week’s performance was that of Sandusky junior Terion Stewart. The Blue Streak running back ran 20 times for 211 yards and 4 TDs in his own right, and has 1,578 yards and 25 TDs in six games.
That wasn’t lost on Raymore.
“Oh for sure. I had to do really do my best, there was a lot of family there from both Norwalk and Sandusky,” he said. “Me being a senior and (Terion) being a junior — I just had to make sure I excelled a little more.”
With the win, Norwalk is atop the Lake with Clyde (5-2, 2-0), and firmly entrenched as the No. 2 team in Region 10. The top four teams will host a first-round payoff game, and the Truckers currently are 3.5101 points ahead of fifth-place Sandusky.
“We actually had a really good week of practice and felt good about the week going into the game,” Raymore said. “Everyone was all in. We want to be SBC champs, and to do that, we have to win the week.
“We have to put everything we have into Perkins, or what we did last week won’t mean as much,” he added.
A look at where Trevon Raymore and the Norwalk offensive line’s game at Sandusky last week ranks in the Norwalk program records and OHSAA history:
— Rush attempts: 40 (new record)
— Rushing yards: 407 (new record)
— Rushing TDs: 6 (new record)
— Points scored: 36 (tied record)
— Team rushing: 452 (new record)
— 52nd 400-yard game in Ohio history
— 34th-most rushing yards in Ohio history
— 47th different player with 400-yard game in Ohio history