By David Fong
Regional Sports Content Manager
TROY — Not only is it one of the most exclusive clubs in Troy history — only 30 different members have been inducted since 1897 — it is one of the most prestigious, as well.
“I think 1,000 is the number every running back who has come through Troy has tried to get to,” said former Troy High School football coach Steve Nolan, who produced bumper crops of 1,000-yard rushers the way Fulton Farms produces strawberries in his 28 yards as Troy’s head coach. “That’s what puts you in the history books. It’s a pretty elite club.”
Since Troy began playing football in 1897, it’s been known for producing legendary running backs. Two of Troy’s finest, Ryan Brewer and Bob Ferguson, still have their names firmly entrenched in the Ohio High School Athletic Association record books and are widely regarded as two of the best in state history.
But it hasn’t just been a two-man show over the years. Few schools can lay claim to producing as many 1,000-yard rushers as the Trojans.
• In school history, there have been a total of 41 single-season rushing totals of 1,000 yards or more. Thirty different running backs have produced those totals. Three running backs, Brewer, Ferguson and Matt Dallman, rushed for 1,000 yards or more in a season three different times in their career. Five more running backs, Gordon Bell, Larry Giangulio, Brad Clay, Tommy Vaughn and Deon Metz, did it twice in their careers.
• Nine different times in school history, Troy has had a pair of running backs put up 1,000-plus yards in the same season. It happened in 1949 (Bussie Favorite and Dick Carnes), 1957 (Ferguson and Ron Stoner), 1959 (Vaughn and Scott Boehringer), 1985 (Mike Delwiche and Giangulio), 1992 (Clay and Chad Dillow), 1993 (Clay and Scot Brewer), 1996 (Ryan Brewer and Dallman), 1997 (Brewer and Dallman) and 2000 (Dave Levorchick and William Block).
• Of Troy’s 1,000-yard rushing seasons, 25 came under Nolan, whose beloved wing-t offense nearly averaged a 1,000-yard rusher per season in his 28 years at Troy.
• The sum total of Troy’s 41 1,000-yard seasons is 55,373 yards.
Here’s a brief look at every 1,000-yard rushing season in school history:
• Ryan Brewer (2,856 yards in 1998; 2,336 in 1997; 1,611 in 1996): Brewer’s 2,856 yards in 1998 were a state record at the time. That same year, he was named Mr. Football Ohio. His 7,656 career rushing yards are fourth in state history and his 761 career points are second in Ohio history. His 117 career touchdowns are tied for third in state history. In the final 14 games of his career, he rushed for 200 or more yards, which remains a state record. Following his career at Troy, Brewer played at the University of South Carolina.
• Bob Ferguson (2,089 yards in 1956; 1,423 in 1957; 1,179 in 1955): A hard-charging fullback who could have played in any era, Ferguson rushed for 1,000 yards in just two games in 1956. He put up 529 yards against Dayton Kiser (second in state history) and 475 against Monroe (tied for seventh in state history). A two-time All-American at Ohio State, Ferguson captured the Maxwell Award and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1961. Never had a carry for negative yards in three years at Ohio State and was called “the greatest fullback I ever coached” by OSU legend Woody Hayes.
• Corey Brown (1,861 yards in 2007): Although he put up a number of highlight-reel performances as a senior, Brown will undoubtedly be best remembered for his performance against rival Piqua, in which he carried the ball 42 times for 324 yards and four touchdowns in the Trojans’ last-second 36-35 win over the Indians.
• Cody Boyd (1,853 yards in 2004): The son of former Trojan great and NFL receiver Elmo Boyd, Cody Boyd made a name for himself as a senior by putting together one of the greatest seasons in school history, while leading Troy to a Division I playoff appearance.
• Matt Dallman (1,724 yards in 1997; 1,271 in 1996; 1,152 in 1995): Playing in the same backfield as Brewer his entire career, Dallman may be one of the most under-appreciated players in school history. A shifty fullback, Dallman is one of only three players at Troy to reach 1,000 yards on three separate occasions and the third-leading rusher in school history behind Brewer and Ferguson.
• Mike Delwiche (1,628 yards in 1985): Perhaps the most popular player of the 1980s, the speedy Delwiche helped lead the Trojans to Division I state semifnals as a junior in 1985. Despite being slowed by a nagging hamstring injury as a senior, Delwiche went on to play at Boston College.
• Craig Donaldson (1,623 yards in 1989): A basketball player at heart, the hard-nosed Donaldson didn’t start playing football until well into his high school career. He helped lead the Trojans to the playoffs as a senior before playing at the University of Toledo.
• Bussie Favorite (1,621 yards in 1949): Regarded as one of the first legends of the modern era of Troy football, Favorite is often called “The Man Who Built Troy Memorial Stadium.” The moniker is both literal and figurative. He helped with the construction of the stadium the summer before his senior year in 1949, then became one of the first two 1,000-yard rusher in school history that fall.
• Gordon Bell (1,594 yards in 1970; 1,447 in 1971): According to legend, Bell was so good in games against Piqua, that former Indian coach Chuck Asher was so glad to see him graduate in the spring of 1972 that he offered to present Bell his diploma at graduation. Following his career at Troy, Bell became one of the greatest running backs in University of Michigan history, earning third-team All-American honors as a senior. He played three seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
• William Block (1,569 yards in 2000): Sharing carries with Brewer as a sophomore and fullback Dave Levorchick as a senior, Block — who also played defensive back for the Trojans — was a versatile performer who went on to play at Wittenberg University following his career at Troy.
• Miles Hibbler (1,564 yards in 2013): Hibbler is the most recent inductee into Troy’s 1,000-yards club, having accomplished the feat this past fall. Hibbler will continue his career at Kent State University this season.
• Matt Allen (1,471 yards in 2008): Like Brown before him, Allen truly made a name for himself his senior season against Piqua, racking up 287 yards and four touchdowns in Troy’s 49-28 victory over the Indians.
• Daniel McCormick (1,328 yards in 2005): A rugged competitor, McCormick came back from a broken leg and torn hip his sophomore and junior seasons to finally reach the 1,000-yard club as a senior.
• Larry Giangulio (1,328 yards in 1986; 1,006 in 1985): The “thunder” to Delwiche’s lightning in 1985, Giangulio was a key contributor to Troy’s run to the Division I state semifinals in 1985. With Delwiche struggling with injuries the following year, Giangulio led the way as the Trojans made a return trip to the playoffs.
• Brad Clay (1,292 yards in 1992; 1,138 in 1993): Of the five Troy backs to have rushed for 1,000-yards or more in a season twice in his career, Clay is the only one to have done so while sharing carries with another 1,000-yard rusher twice (Chad Dillow in 1992 and Scot Brewer in 1993).
• Brad Kline (1,271 yards in 1988): Not only was Kline a standout running back, he was one of the greatest special teams performers of the Nolan Era. He still holds two of the longest kickoff returns in school history. Kline was a Division II All-American at Clarion University.
• Dave Levorchick (1,257 yards in 2000): A tight end as a sophomore, Levorchick moved to fullback toward the end of his junior season, where he promptly rushed for 304 yards against Northmont, the 10th-highest single-game total in school history. He moved to fullback full-time as a senior and, along with Block in the backfield, helped lead the Trojans to the Division I playoffs.
• Winfred Stafford (1,206 yards in 1994): After sharing carries in a crowded backfield with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers as a junior, Stafford became Troy’s featured back as a senior and made the most of the opportunity, joining the 1,000-yard club.
• Bryan Ferguson (1,148 yards in 1974): The nephew of Bob Ferguson, Bryan not only followed his uncle by becoming one of Troy’s 1,000-yard rushers, but he also went on to play football at Ohio State as well.
• Tommy Vaughn (1,130 yards in 1959; 1,117 in 1960): Vaughn may be the most complete football player in school history. Not only did he rush for 1,000-plus yards twice in his career, he also holds nearly every receiving record in school history. He was an All-American and two-way player at Iowa State University and enjoyed a successful NFL career with the Detroit Lions.
• Mike Wiliams (1,108 yards in 1977): A first-team All-Western Ohio League and special mention All-Ohio selection, Williams helped lead the Trojans to a 9-1 record on his way to rushing for 1,000 yards.
• Deon Metz (1,119 yards in 1990; 1.059 in 1991): A brilliant combination of speed and power, Metz became the fourth running back in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards twice in his career as a senior. Metz currently serves as an assistant football coach for the Trojans.
• Dustin Messer (1,103 yards in 2006): Not only did Messer rusher for 1,000 yards as a senior, he’s the answer to a trivia question … he’s the only running back in school history to rush for 1,000 yards on a 5-5 team.
• Doug Chavis (1,062 yards in 1984): The first 1,000-yard rusher in the Nolan Era, Chavis would achieve greater fame as a punter, having punted professionally for the Barcelona Dragons of the now-defunct World League of American Football.
• Scott Boehringer (1,050 yards in 1959): The tandem of Vaughn and Boehringer became the third duo in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season in 1959.
• Ron Stoner (1,034 yards in 1957): Along with Ferguson, Stoner — who would go on to play at the University of Florida — formed one of the most fearsome backfields in school history. Stoner is one of the few running backs in school history to hit the 1,000-yard mark in a nine-game season.
• Scot Brewer (1,011 yards in 1993): Brewer — along with younger brother Ryan — are the only brother duo in school history to join the 1,000-yard club. The elder Brewer currently serves as the head coach at Troy.
• Tom Massie (1,003 yards in 1968): Much to his chagrin, Massie — along with Hibbler — is one of only two running backs in school history to rush for 1,000 yards while playing for a team with a losing record. The fiery Massie currently serves as an assistant coach at Troy.
• Chad Dillow (1,002 yards in 1992): The hard-nosed Dillow rolled up 1,000 yards while sharing carries with Clay on Troy’s 1992 regional runner-up team. He rarely came off the field, earning All-Ohio honors as a linebacker his senior season.
• Dick Carnes (1,000 yards in 1949): The same season Favorite became the first 1,000 yard rusher in school history, Carnes became the second. He’s the only rusher in school history to reach exactly 1,000 yards.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong