By David Fong
GREENVILLE — Jaydon-Culp-Bishop ran over, around and through the Greenville defense Friday.
He also ran right into the record books.
According to the Greater Western Ohio Conference website, Culp-Bishop officially finished with 28 carries for 399 yards — an average of 14.3 yards per carry — and six touchdowns against the Green Wave, essentially doing it in only three quarters while sitting out the fourth with the game out of reach. Those numbers put “Run JCB” in the same league as an impressive array of Troy legends.
Culp-Bishop’s 399 rushing yards is the third-highest single-game rushing total in school history.
He trails only Bob Ferguson — the Ohio State star and Heisman Trophy runner-up — who actually holds the two top spots. In the 1956 season opener against Dayton Kiser, Ferguson rushed for 529 yards, which stood as the Ohio High School Athletic Association state record until 2001 and still is the second-highest total in state history. The very next week against Monroe, Ferguson rushed for 475 yards — meaning he had 1,004 rushing yards two games into the 1956 season.
Culp-Bishop is now third on that list, while Ryan Brewer is fourth (356 yards against Northmont in 1998) and fifth (347 vs. West Carrollton in 1998).
Culp-Bishop’s six touchdowns gave him 36 points for the game, which also puts him the same picture with a number of legends. Tommy Vaughn holds the school record for points in a game with 48 (eight touchdowns) against Sidney in 1960, a mark that ranks No. 15 in state history.
Ferguson (42 vs. Kiser) and Vaughn (42 vs. Fairborn in 1960) are tied for second in school history, while Brewer is fourth (37 points vs. Centerville in 1998). Culp-Bishop’s 36 points leaves him tied for fifth with Brewer (36 vs. West Carrollton) and Ferguson (36 vs. Monroe).
It does bear mentioning that Ferguson, Brewer and Vaughn all were members of the inaugural Trojan Athletic Hall of Fame class.
For the season, Culp-Bishop now has 1,739 yards, which is tops in the 20-team GWOC by 475 yards. By himself, he has rushed for more yards than 12 of the GWOC teams.
His season total already sixth-best in school history, trailing only Brewer (2,856 in 1998 and 2,336 in 1997), Ferguson (2,089 in 1956), Corey Brown (1,861 in 2007) and Cody Boyd (1,853 in 2004). He has at least two games left this season to move up in the ranks, as Troy closes the regular season this week at Piqua, then already has clinched a playoff berth. Depending on how deep the Trojans get in the playoffs, he has a chance to further cement himself as one of the greatest running backs in school history.
Culp-Bishop is averaging 193.2 rushing yards per game this year, meaning that — with two games remaining — he has a legitimate chance at becoming just the third-different back in Troy history to reach the 2,000-yard mark in a season.
With at least two games remaining, Culp-Bishop has scored 28 touchdowns for a total of 168 points, which is the sixth-highest single-season total in school history, trailing Brewer (288 in 1998 and 249 in 1997), Vaughn (230 in 1960), Ferguson (204 in 1956) and Brewer again (176 in 1996).
Currently, Culp-Bishop has 3,337 career rushing yards (59 as a sophomore and 1,549 as a junior), which is fifth all-time in school history. He trails only Brewer (7,656), Ferguson (5,521), Matt Dallman (4,147) and Gordon Bell (3,707). While the career marks set by Brewer and Ferguson are realistically out of reach, depending on the length of Troy’s playoff run, he could have a shot at catching Bell and possibly Dallman.
Lay it on the line
Of course, none of what Culp-Bishop is doing this year would be possible without the play of his offensive line and tight end: senior tackles Jesse Westmeyer and Nathan Garber, senior guard Marshall Brueckman and sophomore guards Jakob Moorman and Ethan Freed, junior center Riley Hubbard and senior tight end Spencer Klopfenstein.
Those players, quite simply, dominated the line of scrimmage against Greenville, blasting open holes so large that Culp-Bishop described them as, “like seeing heaven.”
What’s all the more impressive about the play of Troy’s blockers is that only two of the seven who see significant playing time — Garber and Klopfenstein — were starters last season. Two were playing freshman football last year. Westmeyer was hurt all of last season and Brueckman and Hubbard were playing junior varsity football.
“It all starts up front,” Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said. “Without them doing what they do, Jaydon wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the things he’s been able to do so far this season. (Offensive line coach Scot) Brewer has done a fantastic job with our offensive linemen.”
Defense gets it done
Almost lost in Culp-Bishop’s performance Friday night was the play of the defense, which — aside from two long plays given up — was stellar.
For the game, Troy gave up just eight first downs and 250 yards in total offense — 197 through the air and 53 on the ground.
Leading the way for the Trojan defense was senior inside linebacker Blake Burton, who finished with 19 tackles and one tackle for loss. Fellow senior inside linebacker Austin Blair — making his first start of the season — finished with 17 tackles, including three tackles for loss. Senior outside linebacker Sam Jackson had 13 tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass broken up.
Senior outside linebacker Zach Collett and senior defensive lineman Zach Collett both had two tackles for loss.
Isn’t that special?
Troy’s special teams units have now blocked three punts that led to touchdowns in the past four weeks. It started with Tippecanoe in Week 6, when Jacob Adams blocked a punt and Zach Collett returned it for a touchdown. The following week against Butler, Blake Burton blocked a punt and Tucker Raskay fell on it in the end zone for a score. Later in that same game, Burton forced the Butler punter to fumble deep in his own territory, which also led to a touchdown.
Friday against Greenville, Garrett Jones did the work himself, as he both blocked the punt and returned it for a touchdown.
Troy (8-1, 4-0 in the GWOC North) travels to Piqua (6-3, 3-1) for the 134th meeting between the two football programs. No two high school football teams in Ohio have played more games. Troy leads the series 64-63-6.
The Trojans already have wrapped up at least a share of the GWOC North title and a Division II playoff game. Troy could win the title outright for the third year in a row with a victory. Piqua has a chance to win a share of the GWOC North title and likely would be headed to the Division III playoffs with a victory.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong