Behind the Mic: Mind-Blowing Numbers!

Nysir Minney-Gratz of Easton High School is a running back.   He wears #7 and is listed at 5’ 7” and weighs 155 pounds.   On Friday night, he rushed for 469 yards against the Nazareth Blue Eagles.  He also scored six touchdowns.  469 yards!!  That is a new Easton High school rushing record at a school where rushing the football is equivalent to Saturday following Friday.  It happens every single week of every single game during the football season.  The forward pass is an afterthought.

So, suffice it to say that Easton has had, year in and year out, exceptional running backs.  But no one has ever rushed for more than 400 yards in one game for the Rovers.  The previous record was set by Juan Gaddy in 1991 when he ran for, what now seems like a paltry 314 yards.  Minney-Gratz ran for more than that in the second half alone – 20 carries for 325 yards.  By the way, he caught one pass for 23 yards.

If you like football numbers, you know that one of the personal goals of any running back is to attain 1,000 yards rushing in a season.  Minney-Gratz ran for 875 yards the last three weeks alone – 1715 yards for the season. And to think that in the two years prior to this season, he ran for a total of 289 yards.  But, as I mentioned, there have been many, many great running backs at Easton and Minney-Gratz sat behind another Easton legend, Shane Simpson, for the past two years.

There have been seven running backs this year who have rushed for over 300 yards in a game, five who have set school records.  Emmaus’ Kyle Boney will rush for over 2000 yards before he puts away his jersey.  His high this year is 377 yards in one game.  Liberty’s Gunner Anglovitch rushed for 391 yards just two Saturdays ago.  Saucon Valley’s Evan Culver needs just 52 yards to go over 2,000 yards for this season.

This certainly begs the question – Are these athletes so outstanding or are defenses non-existent?  I made a quick count of EPC and Colonial games and there were 24 games where a team scored 50+ points in a game and 11 more where a team scored 49 points.  In one game, a team scored 54 points and lost by 21. 75-54!!  Where are the defenses?

Many coaches attribute the high scores to outstanding offensive talent, but also to poor defensive skills.  They say there is much less time spent on contact drills in practice due to the fear of injury and this has limited the repetition necessary for an individual to become a good run stuffer and a good tackler.  Everywhere I go now I hear the phrase, “Nobody can tackle any more”.

In case you are wondering, the Pennsylvania single-game record is 722 yards set this year in a 107-90 game.  107-90?

Maybe, by comparison, our defense isn’t so bad in the Lehigh Valley!


  1. The Eagles’ victory on Sunday night in overtime was refreshing for a couple of reasons – Sam Bradford threw a perfect pass to win the game and it was caught, not dropped. And, it took some of the spotlight off of Greg Hardy, who should not be playing for the Cowboys at all, except he settled a financial civil suit with his girlfriend so she would not testify in his jury trial.  No matter how you spin it, he should not be playing football – another reason for fans to hate the Cowboys.
  2. As I write this, the Flyers are 5-9, losing six of their last seven, and the 76ers are 0-6, so the Eagles are the last vestige of hope for the Philadelphia fans through the winter.
  3. In the Football Bowl Subdivision, there are only six undefeated teams – Clemson, Baylor, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Iowa, and Houston. Baylor and Oklahoma State play of November 21 and Ohio State will probably play Iowa for the Big Ten Championship.  That will leave four and that’s what the NCAA likes for their playoff system.  Houston may end up playing Temple for the American Athletic Conference title.
  4. The Allentown public schools can be proud of the weekend dedication of the Andre Reed Field and the spirited play of their two football teams. Both Allen and Dieruff did themselves proud and I’m sure Andre was happy to see the Huskies come away victorious.
  5. You can find all of the brackets for the District XI football games which begin this weekend at the following site:

Gary's Picks

NFL PICKS LAST WEEK – 5-8; OVERALL 81-51 (61%)