BEREA – Name any running back you want.
Eddie George? Never did it.
Earl Campbell? No.
Jim Brown? Please.
Cartel Brooks did something Saturday that no NCAA running back has ever done. On a windy day in Berea, the junior ran for 465 yards.
No one has run for that many in a single game. Brooks did it in 38 carries, breaking a record set three weeks ago by Western Connecticut’s Octavious McKoy, who ran for 455 yards.
When asked to sum up Brooks’ performance, HU coach Mike Hallett took the understatement route.
“He’s really good,” Hallett said of Brooks. “You hand him the ball, good things happen.”
They certainly did Saturday. Brooks ran for three touchdown – one an 81-yarder – and Heidelberg beat Baldwin Wallace, 42-14.
“We had a good game today,” Brooks said in an interview with HU’s website. “This could be our last game, so we wanted to play well for our seniors. I just followed my blocks.”
Heidelberg finishes the season 8-2, 7-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. The Student Princes won’t know until today if they will be given an at-large selection for the Division III playoffs. But after losing the previous two games before beating Baldwin Wallace and watching scores trickle in Saturday, Hallett downplayed the possibility.
“I don’t know that we’re going to have much of a shot,” Hallett said. “We’re assuming that was probably the end of it for the seniors.”
Heidelberg has 19 seniors on its roster. Hallett said the offensive line, led by senior Quentin Rembert, had plenty to do with the record.
“They were mashing people,” Hallett said. “Very dominant display of offensive football.”
As for Brooks, Hallett said he just wanted a W.
“He just wants to do whatever it takes to win,” Hallett said. “Today, it’s the last game, not gonna save him for next week, so let him go.”
Brooks finished with 1,704 yards, a single-season school record.
While Brooks stole the show, quarterback Mike Mees threw three touchdown passes, giving him 27 on the season. That tied a school record set by Andrew Miller.
Senior Josh Lynch had 64 yards receiving and a touchdown for HU, while Ethan Kindle and Zach Hogya also caught TD passes.
Meanwhile, the Heidelberg defense allowed a touchdown on the Yellow Jackets first and last drive, but no points in between.
Seniors Mitchell Kelly and Adam Cepik had 10 stops apiece for the Princes.
“They had a goal line stand, a lot of positives there,” Hallett said of his defense. “They weathered the storm, played with some confidence and did some good things.”
BW (6-4) got 99 yards rushing from Josiah Holt.