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Ethen Knox Watch: Oil City (Pennsylvania) running back chasing high school football national records

After surpassing Derrick Henry for 400-plus-yard games, the junior has passed 3,000 yards through nine games — and could break more two national records this season
Photo provided by Ethen Knox

Photo provided by Ethen Knox

Earlier in the season, we introduced you to Oil City High School running back Ethen Knox, the nation's most prolific rusher in the nation through the start of the 2022-23 high school football season.

He's continued to barrel toward national record books.

In his final game of the regular season against Titusville, he surpassed 3,000 yards on the season through nine games, something that is only believed to have been done three times before in high school football history, according to MaxPreps' Kevin Askeland.

Knox also surpassed Christian Cole's Oil City record for rush yards in a season, which was 3,252 yards back in 2018.

"I would say that hitting the 3,000 (yard) mark was always a big dream of mine since I started playing running back," Knox said.  "And setting our school's rushing record was another major goal I had set for myself before the season and it’s pretty surreal being able to say that I broke it now."

Ventura High School (Calif.)'s Tyler Ebell rushed for 3,102 yards in nine games in 2000, Valley View (Calif.) running back David Dotson of Valley View went for 3,069 in 1991 and it is assumed Sugar Land (Tex.) running back Ken Hall surpassed the 3,000-yard mark in 1953 based on season averages, according to Askeland's records.

It's just been that kind of season for the small-town Pennsylvania standout.

Knox strung together four consecutive games where he rushed for at least 400 yards or more and was averaging 401.4 yards per game with 24 touchdowns on the ground through five games.

After a game against Meadville in Week 6 where he rushed for just 97 yards, he was back up to his old tricks in Week 7 against Hollidaysburg as the junior running back carried the ball 53 times for 409 yards. 

It was his fifth 400-yard game of the season, which broke a national high school single-game record previously held by Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry.

Unfortunately for Knox and the Oilers, their season came to an end this past Friday with a 41-28 loss to Slippery Rock in the first round of the playoffs.

The loss ended the chances Knox had of breaking the two national records he had been chasing for the better part of the season - most rush yards and most attempts in a season.

For the season, Knox finished with XXX carries for XXX yards and XX touchdowns. 

The national record for most rushing yards in a season is currently 4,704, set by Dominick Bragalone of South Williamsport (Pennsylvania) in 2014 and the most rushing attempts in a single season is 502, set in 2001 by Tyler Evans of McLeod West (Minnesota), according to MaxPreps.

To break those records, Knox would have needed XXX games to 

Season game log

Game 1 vs. Warren

31 attempts, 304 yards, four touchdowns

Game 2 vs. Corry

26 attempts, 402 yards, five touchdowns

Game 3 vs. North East

44 attempts, 445 yards, five touchdowns

Game 4 vs. Franklin

28 attempts, 424 yards, five touchdowns

Game 5 vs. Northwestern

48 attempts, 432 yards, three touchdowns

Game 6 vs. Meadville

16 attempts, 97 yards, no touchdowns

Game 7 vs. Hollidaysburg

53 attempts, 403 yards, five touchdowns

Game 8 vs. Conneaut Area

54 attempts, 444 yards, four touchdowns

Game 9 vs. Titusville

43 attempts, 395 yards, four touchdowns

Game 10 vs. Slippery Rock (playoffs)

Season Totals: XX rush attempts, XX yards, XX touchdowns