By Robert Wilson
Jerry Rice, considered the greatest wide receiver in history, didn’t do what Madison-Ridgeland Academy senior wide receiver and Southern Miss commitment Davis Dalton did Friday night.
In fact, no one in NFL history and only one player in NCAA history has accomplished what Dalton did in a single game.
Dalton caught a Mississippi record 388 receiving yards – 17th best in history among high schools in the country according to MaxPreps – in MRA’s 50-20 victory over Jackson Prep Friday night at Prep.
For his outstanding accomplishment, Dalton has been named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.
Davis – a member of the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 – caught 14 passes and scored three touchdowns of 67, 64 and 41 yards from sophomore quarterback John White in his record-setting 388-yard total. Davis had eight catches for 260 yards at halftime.
“Davis just did a great job of winning his one-on-one matchups,” MRA coach Herbert Davis said. “We have tremendous confidence in Davis. Our offensive line gave John time to make some great throws to him.”
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Davis has caught 56 passes for 1,098 yards an 10 TDs for two-time defending MAIS Class 6A state champion MRA, 5-3. If Davis continues this pace and MRA reached the 6A state title game, he will finish with 98 catches for 1,921 yards and 17 TDs. The yardage amount would be the fifth highest in Mississippi history, according to MaxPreps. Dario Robinson of Amory High caught 143 passes for 2,191 yards – both Mississippi records – in 2011. Robinson also held the single season mark with 305 yards against Itawamba AHS in 2011. The MAIS receiving yardage record for a season is held by Lamar School’s Bo Bidgood, who had 1,864 yards in 2009. The receiving yards record for a single game in the country is 456, set by Kraig Pruett of Waldport, Ore., in 2012, according to MaxPreps. The NCAA record was set by Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech, who had 405 yards against then-No. 4 Nebraska in 1989. The NFL record was set by Flipper Anderson of the Los Angeles Rams, who had 336 yards against the New Orleans Saints in 1989. Rice’s highest yardage totals were in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers against the Minnesota Vikings with 289 yards in 1995 and in college for Mississippi Valley against Kentucky State with 294 yards in 1984.
Also, a punter with a strong leg, Davis is averaging 44.7 yards – including a long of 64 yards and five inside the 20-yard line – on 12 punts this season.
Davis caught 38 passes for 742 yards and 14 TDs despite missing three games for the 12-0 and MAIS Class 6A state champion Patriots last season. He caught six passes for 146 yards and three TDs in the season opening win over highly touted Trinity (Texas) Christian. Also MRA’s kickoff specialist and punter, Dalton had 12 touchbacks in nine games and averaged 38.3 per punt last season. A key basketball player for the Patriots, Dalton scored 12 points in MRA’s win over Greenville Christian for the Overall championship last season.
MRA plays hosts to Presbyterian Christian, 6-1, in a Class 6A conference game Friday at MRA.