MOORCROFT – It was inevitable that Drake Lamp was going to break the school rushing record this season. Not many thought it would happen so quickly. However, the statistics recorded for history are still a work in progress, whether it be 11 or 9-man Tiger football.
Individual stats prior to 1960 are hard to find, so it’s a strong possibility some very early highlights may never be found. Since then, the evolution of the Tiger running back has been well documented.
Warren Jordan had Lusk’s first 1,000-yard season in 1961 with 1,034 yards, and teammate Willis Prather eclipsed it by 17 yards two seasons later. Jim Shillenn was a role player as an underclassman but shined during his 1964 senior season with 1,136 yards and 13 touchdowns.
His career stats are incomplete but are under review.
As the Tigers focused on a passing game to round out the 1960s and lack of success in the 70s, the record sat dormant for 20 years.
That was until head coach Jerry Fullmer found a fast, tough kid from Manville named Tony Gladson. His freshman season produced 540 yards, followed by a sophomore campaign on the 1981 state champions with 985 yards. During his junior season he put up 562 yards and went over 2,000 career yards. He ran for just 145 yards as a senior as an injury cost him most of the season, otherwise Tony’s numbers would be much higher (2,232).
Gladson’s record would hold until Jason Walsh put together a few strong campaigns from 1990-93. Walsh ran for 543 yards as a freshman, 485 as a sophomore, 960 as a junior and 430 as a senior before an injury ended his season. Walsh (2,418) would only hold the record for four seasons before Brian Zowada stepped in and eventually became Lusk’s first 3,000-yard rusher.
Zowada put up 1,740 as a senior after seasons of 517, 814 and 193 yards his first three seasons (3,264). From 1990 to 97 the Tigers posted a 55-14 record behind these two speedy tailbacks.
The little blonde kid, always at games and practice, was up next as Casey Fosher stepped into the limelight in the fall of 1997. He burst onto the scene with 317 yards as a freshman behind Zowada and Clint Rising. His 968 as a sophomore was just a precursor to two of the best seasons in school history.
Fosher had 1,124 yards as a junior on the 1999 state champions and 1,829 his senior season and ran past Zowada’s record early in Lusk’s perfect 2000 season. Fosher graduated with 4,291 rushing yards – yet there were a few close challengers since then.
The past 20 years did not sit as silently as the 1965-83 era. Five others have surpassed 2,000 career yards but come up short to Fosher’s mark. Jerit DeGering, Matthew VandeBossche, Lance Roetman, Derick VandeBossche and Calvin Kraft round out the all-time top ten.
Which brings us to 2020, the strangest of years and one of many changes. Drake Lamp ran for 858 yards as a freshman, 926 as a sophomore – while missing a couple games – and 1,633 last season – putting him in position to break Fosher’s career record.
Three games into the 2020 season, Lamp has gone for 207 yards against the Kelly Walsh sophomores and 452 against Pine Bluffs before gaining 371 at Moorcroft last Friday night.
His yardage of 4,447 will most likely keep going up, as long as the Tigers keep winning games.