Clovis News: Sports

Memorial High's Brown may be section's best RB

All over the Central Section, it's already been a bright year for running backs.

There are emerging standouts such as Clovis East High's Kharry Coleman and Madera's Christian Ramirez and established ones such as Clovis West's Kendall Brock, Dos Palos' Kevin Schofield, El Diamante's Aaron Sing and Redwood's Dillon Root.

But Memorial coach Anthony Goston has a message: The best wears No. 4, is only a junior and is running wild in red, blue and white.

"Chris Brown is the most skilled back in the section," Goston said.

UNLV may think so. The Rebels have already offered Brown a scholarship, Goston said.

Some Pac-10 schools may agree, such as Arizona State, whose knock has become louder.

Performances that deliver 280 yards rushing, 416 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns, including a 99-yard kickoff return, against quality competition will attract attention.

And that's what Brown offered in the Panthers' 41-35 nonleague road win Saturday against a Garces team that was 2-0 and ranked 10th in the section.

"He's a stud," Rams linebacker Grant Campbell told The Bakersfield Californian. "He's a great running back, best running back we've played -- fast, hard to bring down."

In three games, Brown has rushed for 771 yards on 88 carries, an 8.8 average. The fourth game could be his biggest challenge yet -- at home Friday against No. 17 Clovis North, a new member of the Tri-River Athletic Conference.

That Brown has produced such big numbers behind an offensive line that replaced four starters now in college football would seem to be shocking.

But take another look: In dropped transfer tackles David Keller (6-4, 280, jr.) from Sanger and Mason Ruiz (6-4, 250, sr.) from Madera South.

Link them with returning left guard Robert Garcia (6-0, 235, jr.), his cousin at right guard, Israel Garcia (6-0, 210, sr.), and promising sophomore center Victor Martinez (5-9, 215), and the Panthers pack power once again following a 10-2 season.

That included a 5-0 title run in the North Yosemite League, helping section CIF administrators elevate them to the County/Metro Athletic Conference, where they figure to battle Sanger and Bullard for the championship.

Brown, meanwhile, is Memorial's go-to back a year after sharing the role with graduated Christian Garcia and taking 30% of the team's carries.

Not so this season.

In the most extreme example to date, the Panthers called Brown's number in 35 of 38 rushing plays against Garces.

"He reads defenses, make moves and explodes," Goston said. "He has the ability to run around you and through you, and he catches the ball well. He has just taken it to the next level."

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