20 eye-catching stats in the Michigan high school football record book
Grand Rapids Christian’s Drake Harris catches a touchdown pass against Zeeland West senior Jon Pung (25) in 2012. (Sally Finneran | MLive)
By Lee Thompson | [email protected]
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The numbers are eye-popping, head-spinning and mind-boggling.
And they are real.
A glance at the Michigan High School Athletic Association record book offers a glimpse at the greatness that has unfolded on gridirons across the state. Single-game, single-season and career numbers that are hard to believe played out in front of prep football fans throughout Michigan.
Here is a look at 20 state records, set in the past 15 seasons, that leap off the pages of the record book.
(RELATED: Crazy stats from the team portion of the high school football record book )
Pinconning’s Tom Paulik (38) runs into resistance from Essexville Garber’s Mike Weiler (6) during the 2003 campaign. (Dan Staudacher | MLive.com)
4 BLOCKED PUNTS IN A GAME
Tom Paulik was a defensive end by trade, but he had a unique specialty. The Pinconning standout could get to the punter like no other, and it paid off in state records with four blocked punts in a game and seven blocked punts in a season in 2003.
“Usually, it’s only every now and then that you get a blocked punt,” said former Pinconning coach Al Doty. “But Tom had a special knack for getting in and getting to them, so we just let him go.
“It was fun to watch, I can tell you that. Any time they lined up to punt, we were watching Tom to see if he would get it.”
When Paulik tallied four blocked punts against Saginaw Buena Vista, he accomplished a feat that hadn’t been done in Michigan since 1941.
Concord’s Zach Brigham catches a pass as Hanover Horton’s Michael Archer, left, and Adam Harris attempt to tackle him. (Lauren Wood | MLive.com)
5 INTERCEPTIONS IN A GAME
Concord only had 14 players suited up for the game, but Zach Brigham was providing the performance of 10 men. Brigham delivered a dream game with five interceptions – returning three for touchdowns to tie another state record – in leading Concord to a 55-20 win over Athens in 2010.
“He shined and single-handedlly won the game for us,” Concord coach Joe Williamson said that day. “We have low numbers to begin with and had injuries. We needed someone to step up and take charge, and he did just that.”
Brigham also caught two touchdown passes and rushed for another TD, giving him six scores in the contest. He finished the season with seven interceptions. His five-pick game tied the record shared by Tom Essenburg of Holland in 1962 and Tony Gill of Temperance Bedford in 1990.
Adam Stremlow, Coleman quarterback
Coleman quarterback Adam Stremlow threw a state-record six touchdowns in a quarter. (Courtesy)
6 PASSING TOUCHDOWNS IN A QUARTER
It was a game in which Adam Stremlow put up video game-like numbers, with six touchdown passes and 44 points on the scoreboard – all before the end of the first quarter. The junior quarterback delivered a record-shattering performance in 2013 while leading Coleman to a 71-0 romp past Ashley.
“He’s been pretty much lights out, other than maybe a few times here and there, all season,” Coleman coach Chad Klopf said that night. “Tonight, it was beautiful to watch him work.”
Stremlow threw touchdown passes on Coleman’s first two offensive plays of the game, and he fired a TD toss virtually every two minutes in the first quarter of the game. He connected with four different receivers for scores and finished the game 12 of 16 for 216 yards and six TDs.
Lawrence at Climax-Scotts (10/26/07)
Jordan Langs delivered a record-setting career at Climax-Scotts. (Mike Farrell | MLive.com)
7 PUNT RETURN TOUCHDOWNS IN A CAREER
The scouting report read “Don’t kick it to Jordan Langs,” but many failed to heed the warning. The Climax-Scotts speedster knew what to do when he got the football, turning on the jets for a state-record seven punt return touchdowns from 2005-07.
“I had the blessing to watch it live as a father and a coach, so it was very special to me,” said coach Kevin Langs, who credited special teams coach Wayne Hinton for his scheme. “Jordan held our school record in the 100-meter dash, so he had some speed to go along with his football moxie. I remember his junior year, Athens was beating us in the second half, and his punt return helped us win the game.”
Jordan Langs is now head football coach at Indiana Wesleyan University.