TERRE HAUTE —
North Central junior Chase VanSchoyck admits he had hoped to break a certain rushing record before he’s done playing high school football.
That was the school mark of 334 yards set by Michael Woodsmall in 2007.
VanSchoyck eclipsed Woodsmall’s record Friday when the Thunderbirds, ranked ninth in the state in this week’s Class A poll, smashed Riverton Parke 67-0 on the Panthers’ field in Parke County.
But the 6-foot-1, 215-pound fullback from the small town of Shelburn broke a record he had never considered until that night — for the entire state of Indiana — when he racked up 511 yards on the ground on 33 carries. The previous mark of 489 yards was set by Indianapolis Cathedral’s Otis Shannon in 1999.
VanSchoyck accumulated 460 of those yards in the first half (310 in the first quarter), then attempted only three rushes in the second half before coach Travis Nolting removed him from the game.
He ended up with a school-record seven touchdowns on runs of 14, 96, 4, 73, 1, 63 and 38 yards.
Not surprisingly, VanSchoyck is satisfied — for now.
“I figured it was going to be a big night,” noted VanSchoyck, who said he already had 168 yards after North Central’s first two possessions. “My line stepped up a lot and opened up a lot of holes and the other guys in the backfield kept blocking downfield.”
Early Twitter reports from North Central on Friday night indicated that VanSchoyck finished with 554 rushing yards, but Nolting and his coaching staff took statistics off game film Saturday morning and informed the IHSAA that the real total should be 511.
“We reviewed the film because we wanted to make sure we got it right,” Nolting told the Tribune-Star.
Nolting said a large portion of VanSchoyck’s yards came from fullback dives.
“We run the triple option,” the T-Birds’ coach explained. “And [Riverton Parke] didn’t close on the dive all night long… After Chase had broken the record, there was no point in keeping him in there.”
Although VanSchoyck deserves plenty of credit — he’s strong (bench-presses 330 pounds) and he’s fast (runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds) — Nolting also praised North Central’s offensive linemen for their aggressive blocking in front of VanSchoyck.
They are junior center Austin Kutch, senior right guard Steve Ridge, senior right tackle Caleb Sappington, senior left guard Jeremy Hunt, junior left tackle Dalton Burris, senior right tight end Dante Rehmel, senior left tight end Luke Copeland and junior reserve Alek Copeland.
Lost in the shuffle Friday night were the 132 yards on nine carries by quarterback Dillon Bailey, who did not attempt a pass against Riverton Parke.
“We’ve put up big rushing numbers all year,” Nolting mentioned. “This [state record] is a huge credit to our offensive line. They were opening up huge holes.”
So far in 2012, VanSchoyck has amassed 1,516 rushing yards and 13 TDs on 142 carries, so it should come as no surprise that he wants to play college football in a couple years. He’s just not sure where yet.
“He’s been having a great year,” Nolting emphasized, adding that VanSchoyck had piled up 247 yards in the first half against Eastern Greene one week earlier. North Central was leading 27-0 when lightning forced a delay at halftime and Eastern Greene later conceded the loss, so the teams did not resume play the next day like most other Wabash Valley schools in the same situation did.
VanSchoyck and his North Central teammates will put their 6-1 record up against winless Wood Memorial this Friday on the Thunderbirds’ field.
Down the road, VanSchoyck said he wants the team to win the Southwest Seven Conference championship, then win the sectional and regional and “go all the way to the state.”