Baker nears record

JAMESTOWN, N.C. -- As Toney Baker nears the all-time North Carolina state rushing record, each game's rushing statistic generates increasing interest throughout the high school football world.

Against a clearly overmatched Union Pines team which fell, 70-7, to Ragsdale Friday night, Baker could easily have gone for the 544 yards he needed to best T.A. McClendon's mark tonight.

He and his coach were having none of it.

Baker carried the ball only one time in the second half and the result was a 67-yard touchdown run. The scamper completed his 274-yard, 4-touchdown evening (on 11 carries) that also included an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game. He tallied 361 total yards and five total touchdowns.

"You have to look at the game from the other side's perspective," said Ragsdale head coach Tommy Norwood. "You never want to demoralize the opposing team more than you have to in a game like this."

Baker, who traveled to N.C. State last week, is set to head to Chapel Hill Saturday. It will be the first time this season that he has taken in a UNC game.

"I'm looking forward to going down to Chapel Hill tomorrow and hopefully taking in a pretty good game, seeing what they have to offer in a setting like that," Baker said of his upcoming unofficial visit.

As to the record, Baker isn't focusing on it. In fact, he is hoping that his entire team doesn't pay any attention to the 270 yards he needs to make history and instead focuses on a very good High Point Central team.

"I really hope that the team doesn't put any emphasis upon getting 270 yards on the ground," Baker said. "We face a great team next week and the important thing is winning games so that we can have the best standing possible as the playoffs get closer. The recruiting process is fun, but that is what is important right now."

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