Lane McCombs runs the ball during a preseason practice in South Charleston earlier this season. McCombs ran for a school-record 295 yards in a 41-27 victory over Northeastern on Sept. 14. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Southeastern senior on breaking 21-year-old rushing record: ‘It was like the Red Sea parted’

McCombs rushed for 295 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries as Southeastern beat rival Northeastern 41-27 at Trojan Stadium on Sept. 14.

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“When I ran, it was like the Red Sea parted,” McCombs said. “Our line’s blocking was magnificent. It was probably the best it’s ever been.”

McCombs scored touchdowns on runs of 4, 16, 29 and 20 yards in the game and had a long run of 34 yards. He averaged 10.9 yards per carry in the game.

The previous record for yards in a game was held by former Southeastern and Wittenberg University running back Casey Donaldson, who rushed for 272 yards in 1997 — three years before McCombs was born.

At halftime, offensive coordinator A.J. Woods told the Trojans’ offensive line if they could rush for 200 yards in the game, he’d take them out for dinner. They finished the game with 424 total yards, including 336 yards rushing on 43 attempts.

They’re headed to Roosters later this week, McCombs said.

“When I heard I had 295, my jaw pretty much dropped,” McCombs said.

It was also the first time McCombs had topped 100 yards in his career at Southeastern. He started getting varsity touches midway through last season, he said. He’s also a talented wrestler who earned his 100th victory and qualified for the state tournament.

“He’s a tough kid,” Trojans coach Payton Printz said. “We kept telling him he was going to have a breakout night, you’re going to figure this out. He’s figuring out how to run the football with his eyes. … He was seeing things as he was hitting the line of scrimmage that he wasn’t seeing before.”

After turning the ball over 10 times in its first three games, Southeastern changed its focus to a power running game in Week 4.

“We knew we had a good running back in Lane,” Printz said. “We just challenged the kids. We told (freshman quarterback Wade Eriksen) we were going to take the ball out of his hands more and not put all the pressure on him to win ball games.”

It’s not the first time Printz had a player rush for 295 yards in a game. At Triad, Matt Bailey rushed for 295 yards in 2002, he said. However, it’s the first time a player accomplished the feat in a spread offense. The Cardinals ran the Wing-T in the early 2000s, Printz said.

The Trojans travel to Fairbanks (2-2), who beat Madison Plains 55-14 in Week 4. Last year, Southeastern led by 13 in the fourth quarter before falling 27-26.

Points needed: Greeneview’s 7-0 loss to Mechanicsburg in Week 4 could hurt the Rams’ playoff chances down the road.

A year ago, the Rams went 10-0, but finished with the No. 6 seed in Division V, Region 20. Greeneview travelled to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy for a first round playoff game.

This year, the Rams won’t have those points to rely on, Greeneview coach Ryan Haines said.

“Our region is loaded,” Haines said. “We didn’t do ourselves any favors by missing out on some points.”

The Rams currently sit in seventh place in the region.

D on display: Two of the best defenses in the 20-team Greater Western Ohio Conference will meet when Lebanon travels to Springfield’s Evans Stadium on Friday night.

The 3-1 Warriors are second in the GWOC with 43 points allowed, while the unbeaten Wildcats (4-0) are third with 44 points allowed. Neither team has allowed more than 14 points this season.

Lebanon beat Beavercreek 41-10 in Week 4. Linebacker Nick Straw (85 tackles) and defensive back Caleb Newman (60 tackles) are first and second in the conference in tackles.

Decision day: Springfield senior lineman Isaiah Gibson is expected to announce his college commitment tonight. He recently released a final three of Kentucky, Purdue and Wisconsin.

He could be joining a few of his fellow Wildcats at those schools.

Former Wildcat Kordell Looney is a sophomore at Kentucky. Wildcats senior Moses Douglass has also already verbally committed to Kentucky. Springfield grad Danny Davis is a sophomore wideout at Wisconsin.

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