When Salpointe running back Bijan Robinson was in grade school 10 years ago, becoming a terror on the football fields Saturday mornings playing TYF ball, Ka’Deem Carey was setting the city rushing record at Canyon del Oro.
Robinson was one of those kids he said “who looked up to (Carey and saw) him as one of the best to come out of Arizona.”
.@SCLancerFB RB Bijan Robinson on breaking Ka’Deem Carey’s city rushing record: “It’s a blessing. God gave me the ability to be the best I can be.” He says Carey has told him it doesn’t stop here. “Keep pushing,” Robinson said. pic.twitter.com/VMSQWAL4xe
The senior with the Lancers, who led his team to a 62-0 win at Tucson High tonight, is now staking a claim for being the best to come out of Arizona, certainly Tucson.
Robinson had 190 yards on seven carries in the first half against Tucson High tonight, putting him 1 yard ahead of Carey for the city career rushing record. At that time, Robinson had 5,702 yards to Carey’s 5,701 (gained from 2007 to 2010 at Canyon del Oro).
Robinson had a 92-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, his fourth score of the game, allowing him to break another of Carey’s city records. He has 83 career touchdowns to Carey’s 82. Robinson finished with 282 yards on only eight carries against the Badgers.
Robinson now has 5,794 yards rushing in his career, bringing him to only 84 yards shy of the Arizona big-school (Class 4A-6A) record of 5,878 set by former Tolleson standout Marcus Thomas from 1999-2002.
“It’s a blessing passing (Carey’s) record but you know, it doesn’t stop there,” said Robinson, who works out with Carey during the summer.. “He always tells me to keep pushing, to keep working and achieve more greatness.”
Salpointe coach Dennis Bene, whose team is 4-0, added about Robinson surpassing Carey’s career mark: “It’s one great one handing and passing the baton to another one. So very special.”
Robinson had touchdown runs of 47, 60, 50 and 92 yards against the Badgers.
.@SCLancerFB coach Dennis Bene on Bijan Robinson breaking Ka’Deem Carey’s city rushing record tonight: “It’s one great one handing and passing the baton to another one. So very special.” pic.twitter.com/ct0bod0HyP
In attendance watching Robinson is Texas coach Tom Herman and running backs coach Stan Drayton. Robinson has verbally committed to the Longhorns. The coaches stood on the Salpointe sideline and they visited Robinson’s family in the stands.
“It’s a strong relationship (with Herman and Drayton); we talk everyday, just about life and football but just how we’re growing as a unit,” Robinson said. “I’m not there yet … he tells me the things I need to work on and get better at for the next level.”
Fellow Division I prospect with the Lancers, safety/receiver Lathan Ransom (bound for Ohio State) had a touchdown reception of 22 yards and a punt return for a touchdown of 38 yards. Another punt return of 95 yards was called back because of an illegal-block penalty.
Ransom’s growth in football extends with Robinson to their TYF days.
Ohio State-bound @L8thanRansom had a stellar night as well for @SCLancerFB with two TDs, one receiving and another a 38-yard juke-here-juke-there punt return for a TD. A 95-yard return was called back because of a penalty. pic.twitter.com/5JiOcfvvlL
“Oh, I knew it was going to happen,” Ransom said of Robinson’s city record. “He works hard every day., grinding in the gym and on the football field. He deserves it. I’m so proud of him and I can’t to see what other records he breaks this year.”
Robinson has a chance for the big-school record next week at Sahuaro in a significant 4A Kino showdown.
Tucson High is now 3-3 overall but still 3-0 in the 6A Metro, of which the Badgers play the rest of their games.
Justin Argraves coached his 100th game of his career in the game. He did so without five of his regular starters who play on both sides of the ball. They are out with injuries. After a week off, Tucson plays at Phoenix Cesar Chavez.
“The only thing we can do is move forward,” Argraves said. “We must be willing to fix ourselves and be willing to fix the issues we had tonight. We have to do all we can do coming into this bye week. That’s all we can do right now. We just have to keep going forward.”
Argraves pulled Robinson aside after the game.
“I told him I’ve been coaching for 19 years and I have not seen a better player,” he said.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.