As Boonville senior running back Avian Thomas admitted that he didn’t know if he was going to get the record Friday night against the Versailles Tigers.
While finishing the first half with over 200 yards and three touchdowns, the senior standout quietly put together another 171 yard performance in the second half along with two more touchdowns to finish with 32 carries for 371 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-21 win over the Tigers.
But more importantly, Thomas also shattered the single game rushing record set by former Boonville great Kellen Kempf, who had 345 yards in a single game.
“I didn’t think I was going to break it open on the last run but when it happened I didn’t know what to think,” Thomas said. “I was like, man, I finally got it, especially after bouncing back from my sophomore injury so it was just big for me.”
Boonville Pirates football coach Greg Hough said he knew Avian was close at halftime. “I’m usually not a big stat guy but I talked to statistician Mike Watts at halftime and I knew with the big 80 yard run early and what else he had prior that he was sitting around 220 coming out of halftime, and then he had that 42 yard touchdown run and I knew he was really close. As it turned out, he was at 371 yards to break the old record set by Kelly Kempf. I’m happy for him but I think Avian knows that he wouldn’t have the record without his teammates.”
Thomas praised his teammates and the coaching staff Saturday on Twitter. “If it wasn’t for my teammates and coaches, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Thomas said. “Thank you to the big boys up front for helping me set the rushing record in a game for 371. Nothing but love for you boys! Let’s keep it rollin’.”
With the Pirates already leading 14-7 after one quarter, Thomas scored the first of his five touchdowns at the 10:20 mark in the second quarter on a 13-yard run. The second game approximately two minutes later on a 88 yard run up the middle to extend the lead to 28-7.  Then, on the third before half, Thomas hit paydirt from the 1 with 27 seconds remaining to make it 35-7 at the half.
Thomas hit the 200 yard mark with 2:22 left in the half.
The touchdowns didn’t stop there. While receiving the opening kick off, Thomas scored his fourth touchdown at the 11:15 mark on a 53 yard run to push the lead to 41-7. Then, after Versailles scored another touchdown to make it 41-14, Thomas put a stamp on it with 4:42 left in the game on a 42 yard run for the record.
Thomas gave props to teammate Andrew Wiser for helping him break the record. “Andrew and I worked every single day from March to August,” Thomas said. “We worked every day except for the weekend so I want to thank him. I also want to thank my uncle, Mike, but Andrew is the one who got me that record. He pushed me every single day whether it was in the weight room, on the field or agilities. The records are great but my main goal this year is a state championship. That’s all I am working for. This is good to have but I want to go and have a playoff run this year.”
Thomas is also closing in on another 1,000 yard season. After Friday night’s game against Versailles, Thomas now has 981 yards on 111 carries and 14 touchdowns. He also has 63 yards receiving for a total of 1,044 yards for an average of 174 yards per game along with 17 total touchdowns.
Of course Thomas and the Pirates (5-1 overall and 3-1 in Tri-County Conference) will get another chance this coming Friday night on the road against the Eldon Mustangs. Eldon improved to 1-5 on the season with a 44-36 win over the California Pintos.
In other games around the conference Friday night, the Blair Oaks Falcons kept a stronghold on first place in the TCC with a 35-0 shutout of the Hallsville Indians while Southern Boone won against the Osage Indians 40-21.
Boonville will travel to Versailles on Friday while Blair Oaks will host Southern Boone, Hallsville will go on the road to face California and Versailles will entertain Osage.
Note: Boonville also had 12 first downs in the game along with 349 yards rushing and another 106 passing for a total of 455. Versailles finished with 14 first downs, 133 yards rushing and 226 passing for a total of 359.
Ferrari finished the game 5 of 7 for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Tramell Coleman, meanwhile, finished the game with three catches for 39 yards while Charlie Bronakowski had one catch for 23 yards and two punts for an average of 29 yards per punt. Spencer Steakley had 1 catch for 11 yards.
On defense, junior linebacker Harper Stock finished with 16 tackles and one fumble recovery while Lane West had 14 tackles, three sacks and three tackles for loss, Josh Polk 12 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack, Colby Caton seven tackles, DJ Wesolak with three tackles, two tackles for loss, three pass deflections and one sack, Tramell Coleman four tackles, DaWan Lomax, Greyson Mesik and Nathan Platt three tackles, Russell Potter, Avian Thomas, Jamesian McKee, Spencer Steakley and Alan McCarter two tackles and Dakota Rapp and Garrett Coffey one tackle.