Someday, everyone at Madison City Stadium last Friday night will tell the story.
They may mention the surprise rainstorm that pelted them much of the football game. They might acknowledge that home-standing Bob Jones High outscored visiting Dorman High of Roebuck, S.C., 35-14 in the season-opener for both teams.
But there is no doubt everyone will say he was there when Patriots senior running back Brad Anderson had a pair of 99-yard touchdown runs in one game.
“I’ve been around football my entire life – I’m 46 – and I’ve never seen that at any level of football,” Bob Jones coach Kevin Rose said. “NFL. College. High school. Pop Warner. Never seen it. Never heard about it. Two 99-yard runs in one game? That’s really like a hole in one. It’s like once in a lifetime.”
Anderson grabbed the Alabama High School Athletic Association Prep Spotlight as the 2016 football season kicked off officially last weekend. His first 99-yard touchdown run put him in an elite group with only 11 others in AHSAA football history.
But the 5-foot-8, 170-pounder would stand alone just a few minutes later as he is believed to the first high school football player in the nation to have two 99-yard TD runs in one game.
The National Federation of State High School Associations does not list records for long plays. None of the other 11 players listed in the AHSAA Record Book had two 99-yard runs from scrimmage in his career.
Anderson did it twice in the fourth quarter. The first came with 8:18 left in the game and the second with about 30 seconds remaining.
“It’s something you dream about but you don’t really see it happening all the time,” said Anderson, who finished the game with 17 carries for 310 yards and three touchdowns. “You just want to perform your best and whatever happens happens. When it happened for me, I didn’t really see it happening beforehand but when it did, it was an amazing feeling.”
Radar had not shown the rain that poured into the stadium. Demarius and Bradarick Anderson Sr. were in the stands wearing makeshift raingear to fend off the showers.
“Every so many minutes, I would take my headgear off to make sure I didn’t miss a play,” she said. “It was miserable.”
Their perseverance was rewarded on their son’s first historic play in the fourth quarter. Demarius Anderson remembers looking down to fold her chair and looking up to see her son sprinting at the 30-yard line.
“My mouth was open,” she recalled. “I was amazed. I was shocked. I didn’t expect that.”
As the closing seconds ticked off and the Patriots again found themselves at their own 1, she certainly didn’t expect big-play lightning to strike again.
“I honestly thought, ‘Thirty seconds. We’re just going to run out the clock,’” she said. “It was like, ‘Is this really happening? This can’t be happening.’”
Anderson has eight Division I football scholarship offers, from Middle Tennessee State, Jacksonville State, Mercer, Alabama A&M, Army, Navy, Air Force and Samford.
Only one other player has been reported to have had two TD runs of more than 90 yards in an AHSAA game. Reayundo Sturdivant accomplished that feat in 2002 with scoring runs of 90 and 92 yards in a 46-14 win over Francis Marion.
According to the AHSAA, the last player to enter the record book with a 99-yard rush attempt was Westminster Christian’s Jared Smith in a 21-12 win over Oneonta in 2015. Collinsville’s Jalyn Martin had a 99-yard TD run in 2014 in the Panthers’ 41-24 victory over Cedar Bluff. The first player listed with the feat is Joseph Hutto of East Lawrence in a 22-12 victory over Madison County in 1992 – 24 years ago.
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett was the first National Football League player to score on a 99-yard touchdown run during a Monday Night Football game against the Vikings in 1983. Dorsett’s is the longest run from scrimmage in the history of the NFL.