Kessman Blows by the Competition

San Jacinto High School is taking a page out of USC's play book. In much the same manner USC Head Coach Pete Carroll used former running back Reggie Bush to do a little of everything for the Trojans, San Jacinto coaches developed the "Ryan Bush" position for their Ryan-of-all-trades, Ryan Kessman.

Coach Powell of San Jacinto High School knows a good thing when he sees it. Lately, the good thing came in the form of 6-foot, 190-pound Ryan Kessman, who dominates the game no matter what position he plays.

Last Friday, Kessman led the San Jacinto Tigers to a 42-40 shootout victory over Village Christian High School.

"Village Christian has a pretty good offense," Kessman said. "It was a battle of the offenses that night."

Kessman started the game as a tailback. In the second half, he moved out to wide receiver. With the way he performed at running, back, it is a wonder that his coaches ever thought of moving him again.

"I thought we ran our offense pretty good against their defense. I had 160 rushing yards on 10 carries with 3 TD's," said Kessman. "The coach has put me at running back because our starting RB broke his elbow and there was no other choice but for me to play that position. I'm a team player and will play at RB if they need me there."

Kessman averaged 16 yards a carry for the Tiger offense, but he was not done there. He is also one of the top kick and punt returners in the state of California, and he showed why against Village Christian.

"I had one punt return and one kick return for 108 yards," Kessman said. "They refused to kick to me on kick return. I guess they were showing me respect. They kept kicking to the front two lines."

While opposing coaches were trying to keep the ball out of Kessman's hands, San Jacinto coaches did all they could do to get him touches.

"The coach told all the players to pitch it to me where ever I was," Kessman said. "That was a great because on one play I ran it for 65 yards I believe. I had 270 total yards from playing the first quarter."

As the second quarter wound down, Kessman suffered a leg injury and didn't return to the field.

"With seven minutes to go in the second quarter I got injured," Kessman said. "I was going in from the two yard line for my 4th TD when I got hit hard with a helmet straight on my thigh pad that cracked it. My thigh swelled up to what looked like twice the size."

During the game, San Jacinto coaches were going to try to break a school all-purpose yard record prior to Kessman's injury.

"I was taken out with about seven minutes left in the 2nd quarter. We were working on a state record for total yards a game," Kessman said. "I think it was like 350 yards for our school record. I was trying to beat it and I was on my way but ended up getting hurt. Maybe I'll get it next game."

This was not the first time San Jacinto attempted to use Kessman to break the current school record.

"When the season started during his sophomore year he just turned 14 years old," said Ryan's father Steve Kessman. "It was the ACA High School game. They're a Christian school and he had 250 yards by half time and four touchdowns. I was sitting by the end zone filming and the coach came in at half time all excited saying he didn't care that Ryan was going to score another 20 touchdowns."

After tempering his excitement, Coach Powell realized that although Kessman could have racked up another hand full of touchdowns he backed off with the game in hand, and allowed the back up players to get some valuable playing time.

"Ryan didn't receive any more playing time that game," said Steve Kessman. "The game was pretty much won by then anyways."

At home the day after the Village Christian game, Kessman was walking with a only slight limp. There is no visible bruising the leg, but he will sit out the next game to heal fully.

"I'm most likely going to be sitting out this next game to get well for the rest of the season," Kessman said. "I just want to get healed up going and our team should be fine without me for the next game."

Looking towards the future, Kessman likes how the Cougar offense is dominating teams on the field.

"I'm very excited about graduating early and coming to BYU, I can't wait," Kessman said. "That's all I think about. I was trained to play receiver since I was seven years old, and that is what I will play at BYU."

The time Kessman plays at the physical running back position will prepare him for the hard hits he will take as a D-I receiver.

"[Coach] Higgins told me that playing RB will toughen me up so I can run through traffic when I catch the ball for BYU," said Kessman.

With no local cable provider carrying the mtn., the Kessmans had to rely on a family friend to provide them with phone update of the game.

"We didn't get to see it, but I heard it was awesome," said Ryan. "We didn't get to see it because it wasn't televised. Big Vic [So'oto] called my dad and said it was awesome and that they did really good."

"We were talking it up man," said Steve Kessman of his conversation with Vic So'oto, father of BYU tight end Vic So'oto. "They're really good people. [Vic] said he listened to it on the radio. We didn't get it out here on T.V. I called him and he told me he heard it on the radio and he gave me a lot of information on the game. Ryan was also giving me quarterly updates because he has this real technical phone. I knew BYU had an excellent offense but when I heard the score after half time, I was blown away."

To view highlights of Ryan's season click on the following link:


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