Prep Football: Bauk broke record in Salisbury's impressive season
By Mike London
SALISBURY – When Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan contacted the Post in September wanting to know exactly what his school’s total offense record was, we told him.
The answers were John Knox and, well … John Knox. The answer was Knox for both for a career and a season – 5,496 yards for his four-year varsity career and 2,225 yards for the quarterback’s stellar senior season of 2010 in which he directed Pinyan’s Hornets to the 2AA state championship.
That Pinyan was calling indicated he thought Knox’s successor, Brian Bauk, had a chance to finish in the same neighborhood as Knox, although it seemed a longshot, that Bauk, the signal-caller for only two seasons, had any realistic chance of approaching Knox’s school records.
But Pinyan had a better feel for what Bauk was capable of than anyone else, and Bauk made a tremendous statistical surge in the playoffs.
In Salisbury’s first three playoff games, Bauk enjoyed the fourth, fifth and sixth 100-yard rushing games of his senior season. He accumulated 420 rushing yards in the playoffs alone, plus 272 postseason passing yards.
When Bauk ran for 5 yards on what would prove to be the final carry of his football career with two minutes left in Friday’s 35-28 loss to South Iredell in the Western Regional final, he broke Knox’s single-season total offense record by 3 yards. Bauk finished with 1,275 rushing yards and 953 passing yards for a total of 2,228.
Bauk broke school and county records for rushing yards by a QB this season. North’s Alfonzo Miller had held that mark with 1,169 yards in 14 games in 2001. Knox rushed for 1,041 in 16 games in 2010.
Bauk would gladly trade all the records in the world to be playing in the state championship on Saturday, but what he did should be recognized, His accomplishment is notable because Knox and Miller were fantastic players.There’s one more amazing Bauk note before we move on to his running mates in the backfield. On the career county rushing list, Bauk finished in a dead heat with Knox. They’ll go into the record books tied permanently – and fittingly – with 2,296 rushing yards apiece.
• Salisbury fullback/halfback Max Allen fell just short of 1,000 rushing yards for the season. An unfortunate flag on Friday wiped out an Allen run of about 30 yards, on which he dragged a host of tacklers for the final 10. That run would’ve put him past the milestone. He still produced his third 100-yard game of the season and finished his senior year with 990 yards.
Allen rushed for 2,118 yards in his two seasons as a Hornet, and when you tack on the 382 yards he rushed for with East Rowan’s varsity before he came to Salisbury, he finished his career with exactly 2,500 rushing yards.
Allen’s 294 rushing yards against Winston-Salem Carver in 2011 may stand as the county playoff record for a while.
There had been just eight players with 2,000 career rushing yards in Salisbury’s long history prior to this season, but three more members were added to that exclusive club in 2012. Besides Bauk and Allen, add halfback Justin Ruffin.
• Ruffin topped 100 yards nine times in 14 outings this season and dashed and crashed for 200-plus yards in three of his last four games.
He finished with 1,724 rushing yards, which ranks 13th on the list of the county’s most prolific rushing seasons. His season ranks second in school history behind Romar Morris’ 1,780 in 16 games in 2010.
Ruffin finished with 2,963 career rushing yards, which also is 13th on the all-time county list. He’s fourth on Salisbury’s all-time list behind recent standouts Dario Hamilton, Morris and Tyris Davidson.
Ruffin’s 262-yard game in the final outing of his career was one of the 25 biggest rushing games in county history.
Ruffin had phenomenal averages this season of 123.1 yards per game (best in the county) and 11.6 yards per carry (maybe the best ever in the county).
As is the case with Bauk and Allen, what he does running the ball is just part of the story for Ruffin.
He was one of the best receivers in Salisbury history the last two seasons, with 32 catches for 625 yards and 12 TDs.
Ruffin accounted for 33 touchdowns as a senior, 26 on the ground, five on receptions and two on kickoff returns. Those 33 touchdowns appear to be a single-season school record, as scores were far more conservative and games were more defensive-minded in Salisbury’s glory days in the 1970s.
Morris scored 30 TDs in 2010. Ruffin’s career total of 55 TDs fell just short of Morris’ career total of 58, which is very likely the school record.
Ruffin’s five-touchdown game against Cuthbertson in the playoffs tied the school record for most TDs in a game.
• Keion Adams had six interceptions for the Hornets this season, the most at the school since Martin Hosch-Cathcart’s seven in 2007.
• Salisbury scored 534 points, averaging 38.1 points per game. That was a little short of the school record of 41.1 ppg that the Hornets put up in 2011 when they had Dominique Dismuke as well as Ruffin, Bauk and Allen.
•Salisbury topped 400 rushing yards four times this season and was held below 200 only once (West Rowan). The Hornets averaged 322 rushing yards per night.
• Remarkably, six of Salisbury’s wins came in games in which the opposition scored 25 or more points. On its way to 11-3, Salisbury had scoreboard-spinning victories of 68-28, 45-35, 37-25, 43-39, 42-31 and 36-35. That Salisbury reached a regional final while rebuilding its defense was amazing. Salisbury allowed 189 points in 14 games in 2011 when its defense was mostly seniors. It allowed 332 this season.
• Finally, if you saw every Salisbury game this season, you witnessed 866 points – almost 62 per game. And as you probably guessed - that’s a school record.
All these nunbers would’ve gone into the weekly notebook that has appeared every Thursday, but there won’t be another football notebook until next August.
The good news is that many of our football friends move on now to winter sports.