The faded Superman T-shirt Jarek Black wore Tuesday while roaming the halls of Shallowater High School probably isn’t what he wears under his Mustang football jersey on Friday nights.
But if he does, it certainly would explain a lot of things.
One thousand, two hundred-and-nineteen things, to be exact.
Black has amassed 1,219 rushing yards through four games, making him the Texas high school football rushing leader, according to numerous online databases that track 11-man high school football statistics.
His 304.8 yards per game also rank him in the top-10 nationally, according to Maxpreps.com
“I’m just taking what defenses can give me and going off good blocking from our offensive line,” said Black, who comes off as more of a quiet Clark Kent off the field than his Friday-night alter ego.
The offensive line has paved the way for 17 rushing touchdowns, 12 of them of more than 30 yards. Only one of the touchdowns has been inside the 10-yard line, a 3-yard score during Black’s seven-touchdown season debut against Muleshoe.
The junior — that’s right, he’s just a junior — rushed for 690 yards and 10 scores a year ago as backup to Koley King.
This year he took over as the No. 1 back, accounting for 83 percent of the team’s rushing total.
Black, who coach Kyle Maxfield calls humble and mature, is even surprising himself — although he hides it well.
“I knew I would be able to do a little bit more, just getting the full responsibility that I was given,” he said, “but honestly, no, I didn’t think I was going to be able to come out and do it all.”
During a pair of preseason scrimmages, Shallowater head coach Kyle Maxfield said that he saw glimpses of Black’s prowess.
But, like Black, Maxfield can’t say he expected to have a 1,000-yard rusher by the fourth game of the year.
“I think it’s a combination of things,” said Maxfield, who said Black’s early production is the best he has ever seen out of a running back. “Our o-line is playing great, and he’s more explosive and stronger and it just all came together. Hopefully the best is yet to come.”
Although it’s still early and the Mustangs have a tough five-game District 2-3A slate ahead, Black could be looking at some record-setting marks.
He is on pace for 3,657 yards and 51 touchdowns. Currently, he averages a touchdown every 5-6 touches.
If he keeps up the torrid pace, he has a legitimate shot at cracking the state’s top-10 lists in single-season rushing yards and rushing scores. The state record of 4,045 yards was set in 1953 by Kenneth Hall from Sugar Land.
Black has a chance to really impress at 7:30 p.m. today when the Mustangs (4-0) host perennial power and traditional rival Idalou (3-1).
The Wildcats have given up only 17 points in the last three weeks — all wins — allowing 145 yards rushing along the way.
“They’re going to be physical definitely,” Black said of the Wildcat defense, “and they’re going to be very disciplined. But I think we’ll come out and get a good push, and it’s going to be a good test for us right before district.”
Idalou coach Don Long said the best way to stop Black is to keep him on the sideline. That task will fall to the quarterback-running back tandem of Seth Reagan and Koal Houchin.
Long called Black the “real deal,” and is also ready to see how his team can do just before district play begins.
“If we can cut down his number of touches just by us having the football — I think that’s going to be the key,” he said.
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Idalou at Shallowater
7:30 p.m., Todd Field, Shallowater
Radio: KYMI-FM 98.5 (Lubbock), KJDL-AM 1420 (Idalou)
Records: Idalou 3-1, Shallowater 4-0
Idalou vs. Shallowater
beat Friona 28-0 Last week beat Dalhart 44-14
354.0 Total offense 440.5
299.3 Total defense 370.3
26.25 Points scored 43.0
12.25 Points allowed 23.25
RB Koal Houchin Player to watch RB Jarek Black
(523 rushing yards, 7 TDs) (1,219 rushing yards, 17 TDs)