It's just a shame the Avalon School in Gaithersburg isn't part of the MPSSAA. Otherwise running back Rachid Ibrahim would've supplanted two modern-day single-game record holders. In a wild, thrilling affair last Friday night between Avalon and Model School for the Deaf, Ibrahim tied a record with eight touchdowns and set a record with 50 points scored. (Back in 2003 Dietrich Wright of Eastern Tech and Quentin Burley of Loch Raven both scored eight touchdowns in a game. They also hold the MPSSAA record for most single-game points with 48 apiece.)
"I was coming in real hungry because we lost last week," said the 6-foot-2, 170-pound Ibrahim, who's only a sophomore. "But this has never happened to me before. The line was blocking, the receivers were blocking and the coaches came up to me and said, 'We're going to keep giving it to you.' I said, 'Alright Coach, I'll keep going.'"
And keep going he did. Ibrahim rushed for 298 yards with scoring runs of 1, 44, 70, 3, 23 and 2 yards. He also caught a 66-yard touchdown pass and returned an interception 92 yards for a score. He tallied 32 points in the second quarter alone. All told, Ibrahim accounted for 456 yards of total offense.
"Some of it is a byproduct of our offense, but you can't just have an average kid out there running the football," said Avalon coach Jerry Sarchet, who mentioned he witnessed a 461-rushing-yard, eight-touchdown performance back when he used to coach in North Carolina. "Rachid is one of the hardest working kids I've had, and he's an even better kid then he is even a football player. And just think, he's only 15 years old."
Ibrahim's performance almost overshadowed the game itself. Avalon defeated Model, 64-55, in what may rank as one of the highest scoring games in state history. Avalon's offense racked up 617 yards (438 rushing, 179 passing), which is the seventh highest offensive output in Maryland history. Their quarterback, David Collins, rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown to go along with Ibrahim's 298.
What's more, Avalon did almost all their scoring in the second and third quarters, where they combined for 58 points. They had just one touchdown in the first quarter and didn't register a single point in the final 12 minutes.
A day later, Ibrahim was still shocked over what transpired.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Ibrahim, who now has 1,259 rushing yards and 24 total touchdowns this year. "Our offense was flowing, their offense was flowing We called like every run play in the playbook and they couldn't stop it. I couldn't believe it. I've never seen an offense perform like this."
Ibrahim started the game rather slowly. The offense moved methodically downfield before he punched it in on a 1-yard score. His next five touchdowns would be much more dramatic.
Early in the second quarter, Ibrahim moved out of the backfield and lined up out wide. It caught Model off-guard.
"We did a little trips formation and I just went deep," Ibrahim said. "The quarterback put it right on me and I scored."
A minute later Avalon had the ball back again. After a few quick plays, Ibrahim broke away for a 44-yard touchdown run.
"It was one of our best plays -- a simple counter," Ibrahim said. "The line just always seems to gets their blocks down. That play always comes up big for us."
Model then scored off a long run to pull within 22-13. But Ibrahim extended the lead back to three touchdowns on Avalon's next drive. They called a "34 trap," and this time Ibrahim dashed 70 yards untouched to pay dirt. It was his longest run of the game.
"It was just a simple play. Our line blocked down and I broke outside," Ibrahim said. "Then it was off to the races."
The quarter was only half over and he already had four touchdowns, three in the second frame alone. But Ibrahim wasn't finished. He would rack up two more scores before the half ended.
Touchdown No. 5 came on a 3-yard run after a long, clock-eating drive. The quarter should have ended right there, but Model wanted one last shot at the end zone. They drove all the way inside Avalon's red zone before a fluke play cost them a chance at points. Not surprisingly, Ibrahim was right in the middle of it.
"What I did there, deep in our own territory, was the most amazing touchdown of the game," Ibrahim said. "Their quarterback threw it, the receiver tipped it, our free safety tipped it and I just came up behind everyone and scooped it up. It was just like practicing a tip drill. I grabbed it and ran for the touchdown. I'm standing there on the field shaking my head like, 'That's amazing.'"
The quarter ended with Avalon ahead 42-19.
Not much changed in the second half. Avalon received the opening kickoff and Ibrahim promptly scored his seventh touchdown of the night on a 23-yard run.
"It was a simple direct snap to me," Ibrahim explained. "The line blocked beautifully and I just took it up the middle."
A few possessions later Ibrahim tacked on his eighth and final score with a 2-yard rush. He received a few more carries but soon gave way to Collins in the fourth quarter. Model charged back with three unanswered touchdowns, but Avalon had the game in hand.
"This was a special night," Ibrahim said. "It will probably never happen again. It's not something you're ever going to forget."