Isaiah Ortiz didn’t set out to have one of the best performances by a running back in 51 years in New Mexico last Friday. He just wanted his team to win a district title in Class 5-A. He got both as the Del Norte Knights stopped the Los Alamos Hilltoppers 70-20.
“I never saw a kid rush for 430 yards and put 8 touchdowns on top of it,” said Knights head coach Bruce Binkley.
Those numbers put Ortiz in rare company in the history of New Mexico high school football.
“The rushing touchdowns will put him number two all time,” said Binkley. “The yards are number four all time. You combine both that would make for one of the best running back nights ever in the history of the state.”
Ortiz said it could not have happened without a good offensive line.
“During the game my lineman where making pretty big holes for me,” said Ortiz. “I was able to do what I am supposed to do.” The record for rushing touchdowns in a single game in New Mexico high school football is eleven, set in 1967. “I heard the record was eleven,” said Ortiz.
“By the time I graduate, I want to pass that and set a new number.” Ortiz will have a couple of seasons to get that done. He is only a sophomore but plays like an upperclassman.
“At practice, he works probably harder than anybody,” said Knights quarterback Christian Mejia. The Knights return to the field Friday when they meet the Piedra Vista Panthers in the first round of the state playoffs.