Russell White of Crespi High School in Encino holds state records for career rushing yardage and scoring.
As a sophomore, he led his team to the Big Five Conference title. During a 3-year career he has been selected as an All-American and the outstanding football player in the state.
White is running out of records to break. What more could there be for a senior midway through his final season? Well, no California high school player has scored 100 touchdowns.
“I hadn’t really thought about it, but maybe that’s a little something I should set out to do,” said White, who began the season with 69 touchdowns and has added 16 to give him 85. “If we could make it to the CIF semifinals I might be able to get it. If I could get lucky and get a 7 or an 8er in there, maybe.”
White will get a chance to add to his statistics tonight when Crespi plays Mater Dei in a nonleague game in Santa Ana Stadium.
White became the state’s leading rusher Friday night in a 35-15 Del Rey League victory over St. John Bosco. His 192 yards gave him 5,477 and boosted him past Valencia’s Ray Pallares, who had 5,397 yards from 1983-85. White also scored 4 touchdowns in the game.
He broke the state scoring record 2 weeks ago with a 4-touchdown performance against Alemany. That gave him 488 points to displace Tyreese Knox (476 points) of Jefferson High in Daly City. White has since increased the record to 512 points.
He has 829 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing this season and 19 receptions for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns.
All this and he has been nursing a sprained ankle for 5 weeks. White said he is recovered and ready to go “full bore” tonight.
And he says keying on him won’t help the Monarchs. “Every team has a chance of stopping me, but they better be in better shape than I am because sooner or later they will crack. I hope,” White said. “If they stop me, they feel like they have accomplished something, but I am not the whole team.”
Crespi (4-3) can throw the ball. Quarterback Ron Redell has been playing with a shoulder injury, but it hasn’t appeared to hamper him in the past 2 games, in which he has completed 22 of 27 passes for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns.
But the Crespi defense is suspect. It has given up an average of 287 yards a game, though it tightened considerably in the last two games, shutting out Alemany and holding St. John Bosco to 15 points.
“We’re healthy. We’re a different team than the team that played Servite,” said Crespi Coach Bill Redell, referring to a 35-20 loss 4 weeks ago. In that game, Servite’s Derek Brown ran for 312 yards to White’s 81.
Mater Dei (3-4, 1-1) is in third-place in the Angelus League.
Monarch quarterback Danny O’Neil is the county’s fourth-rated passer. He has completed 80 of 143 passes for 1,068 yards, 14 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Running back Kealii Clifford is the Monarch’s leading rusher with 496 yards in 92 carries.
In other featured games:
Esperanza (4-3, 0-2) vs. Loara (4-2-1, 0-1-1) at Glover Stadium--This Empire League game between two teams that have not won in the last 3 weeks will be decided on the ground since neither team has a strong passing game.
Loara opened the season 4-1 and as one of the league favorites before playing Cypress, picked to finish last in the league, to a scoreless tie. Loara was without Coy Collins (495 yards and 5 touchdowns in 90 carries) who had injured his ankle in practice. Last week, Loara lost to El Dorado, 27-20. Randy Halcomb, playing for Collins, had 115 yards in 8 carries. Defensively, the Saxons have held teams scoreless in 4 games.
Esperanza will have to rely heavily on its defense, which is giving up an average of 14 points a game. The Aztec offense has not been able to put opponents away. Lance Brown is the Aztecs’ leading rusher with 574 yards in 130 carries.
University (3-3-1, 1-0-1) at Estancia (5-0-2, 0-2-1) at Newport Harbor High School--University is coming off a 24-8 victory over Newport Harbor last week. The Trojans are in third place in the Sea View League behind Corona del Mar and Tustin. In a game they dominated, the Trojans had to settle for a 14-14 tie against Corona del Mar, the top-ranked Division VI school in the Southern Section, because of a late interception. The Trojans are led by running backs Gary Smarr (83 carries for 475 yards and 8 touchdowns) and Jim Roberson (103 carries for 513 yards). Roberson also kicked a career-best 47-yard field goal and ran for 113 yards in 15 carries, sacked the quarterback and blocked a punt last week.
Estancia has not won a league game in more than 2 years. But the team is on the rise this season. It tied Tustin, 13-13, in the league opener.
Estancia is led by running back Josh Wojtkiewicz, who has 645 yards and 5 touchdowns in 105 carries.