MORENO VALLEY — The morning after David Dotson set the CIF state single-game rushing record with 507 yards, the Valley View High senior predicted he would break the national record of 608 yards.
"To be honest, I think I might even have the chance to get 700 yards," said Dotson, whose record helped Valley View to a 56-0 victory over Lake Arrowhead Rim of the World Friday night at Moreno Valley High.
"While I was happy to get 500 yards, I probably could have gotten 600 yards if I had stayed in the game until the end. That means if everything comes together just right, I could get 700."
Those who know Dotson believe anything is possible for the 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back. In Friday night's game, Dotson broke two records and tied another.
His 507 yards in 27 carries broke the state record of 501 set by Ryan Knight of Riverside Rubidoux in a game against Corona in 1983. Dotson also set the state record for career rushing yards with 6,009, bettering the mark of 5,998 set by Russell White of Encino Crespi during 1986-88. Dotson's eight touchdowns tied a Southern Section record set by Dave Johnson of Montebello Cantwell in 1969.
Before a crowd of 2,000, Dotson returned to action against Rim of the World with 489 yards and five minutes remaining. He ran for six yards and then for 12 to set the record. The officials called a timeout and awarded Dotson the game ball. With four minutes to play, Dotson walked off the field to a standing ovation.
"When you're in the game, you really don't realize what you're achieving," Dotson said. "But after I had some time to think about it, I guess it's a pretty big deal. Records are important to me. I set this goal when I was a sophomore. But I give all the credit to my offensive line. They made it happen.
"But I had a hard time sleeping last night," he said. "I was anxious to see what the newspapers had to say."
Valley View Coach Leo Brouhard, who coached Knight at Rubidoux, said when he heard Dotson was close to the record, he decided to keep him in the game.
"A lot of people might think I was trying to run up the score," Brouhard said. "I really was just trying to get David the record. Achieving records is important, and I want them for him."
Brouhard said Rim of the World Coach Richard Manzo would not shake his hand after the game. Manzo was not available for comment.
Dotson averaged 18.8 yards per carry Friday night. He had touchdown runs of 24, 25, 33, 95, 80, 55, 35 and 31 yards. A 75-yard touchdown was called back in the third quarter because of a holding penalty.
In the second quarter, Dotson had four carries for 212 yards.
The 17-year old senior smiled as he watched the game film Saturday morning in the team's training room. He came in to ice down sore muscles.
"I just had big holes to run through," he said while watching his 95-yard touchdown run for the third time. "Those guys on the line are working hard for me, and it is very much appreciated."
The national record of 608 yards was set by John Brunch of Elkins, Ark., in 1974. Dotson's effort is the sixth best.
For the season, Dotson has 2,286 yards in 199 carries (a 11.5 average) and 32 touchdowns, all of which lead the state. He is 446 yards shy of the state season-rushing record of 2,713 yards, set by Glyn Milburn of Santa Monica in 1987. Dotson needs seven touchdowns to break the season record of 38 shared by Milburn and White.
Valley View, 65 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, is 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Sunkist League. The Eagles are ranked No. 3 in the Southern Section Division VIII media poll.
While Dotson has not been a highly publicized player, as were Knight or White, he is considered one of the top recruits in the Southland. He has the size and speed--he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds--needed to attract attention from Division I college coaches. He also has the necessary academic credits and Scholastic Aptitude Test score.
Valley View opened three years ago but was housed temporarily the past two years in a nearby junior high. The $35-million school opened in August, but because the football field is not completed, the Eagles play home games at Moreno Valley. The school has an enrollment of 2,300.
Brouhard transferred from Moreno Valley to Valley View in 1989 and went 2-7 his first season with an all-sophomore team. Last year, the Eagles finished 6-4 but failed to gain an at-large playoff berth. This is the team's first senior class.
Dotson is a three-year starter. He had 1,243 yards his sophomore season and set a state record last year for the regular season with 2,498 yards. He thinks he might go as high as 4,000 this season.
"It's the goal of the whole offense to break records and get into the playoffs," Dotson said. "So far, it looks like we're doing both."
By the Numbers
A game-by-game look at David Dotson, who set state records for single-game and career rushing Friday night.
Date Opponent No. Yards TD Sept. 13 Mira Loma Jurupa Valley 26 321 4 Sept. 20 Montclair 39 264 5 Sept. 27 San Diego Montgomery 33 431 5 Oct. 4 Riverside Notre Dame 34 318 5 Oct. 11 Riverside Norte Vista 40 445 5 Oct. 18 Lake Arrowhead Rim of World 27 507 8
Season totals: 199 carries, 2,286 yards, 32 touchdowns Career totals: 793 carries, 6,009 yards, 71 touchdowns