When you hear the numbers Rincon/University’s Ty Grigsby put up on Friday night, you’ll have one question — and the answer is no.
Grigsby is not related to either former Arizona Wildcats running backs Nic Grigsby or Terris Jones-Grigsby.
It was easy to wonder, though, after Friday’s record-setting performance. Grigsby rushed for 290 yards on 25 carries, caught one pass for 55 yards and scored an Arizona big-school-record eight touchdowns in Rincon’s 53-34 win over Sierra Vista Buena.
The victory was Rincon’s first in over a year: The team had lost its previous 10 games by an average of 45.9 points per game.
The Rangers opened the Class 6A Southern season with a 34-0 loss to Pueblo, fell to Mesa Dobson 42-7 and Mountain View 62-0 before Friday’s breakout performance.
Thanks to Grigsby, they ran away with a big win.
“I felt it from the beginning,” Grigsby said. “I was telling the team, ‘just block for me, I’m feeling it tonight,’ and I came out and it happened.”
Coach Cody House said, “There was a point where I was like, ‘just give it to him.’ ”
Grigsby opened the game with a 33-yard touchdown run. His second score went for 25 yards, and he was feeling it. Touchdown No. 3 was a doozy — a 51-yard rumble.
The next two touchdowns were short ones — from 2 yards and 6 yards. No. 6 was a 55-yard catch.
“He scored on one, and I was kind of just walking down the sideline thinking to myself, ‘how many touchdowns does he have?’ ” House said. “I lost count. I thought he had four. They said, ‘He’s going to break the state record.’ ”
Grigsby tied the state record with a 35-yard run in the fourth quarter. He broke it with a 39-yard run later in the period.
“That felt good,” Grigsby said. “I just went in and everybody cheered. I was happy, my teammates were happy.”
His fellow Rangers were in on it. Quarterback Mario Verdugo kept Grigsby’s teammates on top of the record chase. Receiver Roman McDowell said he went from being “kind of jealous” that Grigsby had so many touches to understanding and, eventually, happy.
After Grigsby set the record, “he just came to the sideline teary-eyed, happy,” McDowell said.
Grigsby’s performance came from out of nowhere, in part because he did. The running back was injured as a freshman, and ruled academically ineligible in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
House was hired in February to take over the program. It wasn’t long before the new coach connected with his best player.
“Ty is a special talent, and we knew that the minute I got on campus,” House said. “I always heard about him. He’s got two older brothers that are really good. … If anyone can come out and watch us at practice, they say, ‘Who’s that guy right there?’ He is a high-level talent.”
Grigsby doesn’t have any scholarship offers for college yet, but House anticipates junior colleges to come calling at some point.
Especially after his record-setting game.
“There was definitely a buzz on the sideline,” House said. “He had 25 carries. I was thinking, let’s give him 40! The ball’s not too heavy.”