Typical Jake Browning. He piles up the numbers and accolades but defers credit.
This is a humble star if there ever was one.
On Friday night, the Folsom High School junior quarterback shattered the state record for touchdown passes in a single season with 68, bettering his own Northern California mark he set last season by five. Browning had six touchdown tosses to beat Franklin 49-16 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I quarterfinal, and he there could be as many as four more games to go.
All told, Browning topped his sophomore season in which he passed for a state-record 5,248 yards and 63 scores with this season. He's on his way to eclipsing 5,000 yards as he has 4,710 now now.
Folsom coaches praise Browning, with co-coach Kris Richardson calling him, "incredible" and co-coach Troy Taylor saying, "He's amazing."
"It's more of a team deal because no one throws for that many touchdowns without a great line and receivers," Browning said Monday afternoon. "It's not a Jake Browning record. It's a team achievement. And our goal isn't records. It's wins."
That's happening, too. Folsom has played like The Bee's No. 1 team, and the NorCal No. 2-ranked team by MaxPreps, and the state's No. 3 squad as ranked by Cal-Hi Sports. Folsom is 12-0 with all units clicking.
Including an offensive line that does not allow much - if any - pressure on Browning. So he has time to read the defense and pick teams apart, hitting receivers such as Will McClure, who has had a monster breakout season with 1,397 yards and 22 touchdowns as an example of work ethic and pride. McClure hardly played last season, then made himself into a player with extra time and desire.
Browning's other targets include Josiah Deguara (1,131 yards, 15 TDs) and Troy Knox (900, 10), who has some all-time NorCal career totals.
And this isn't just a passing show. The defense has excelled with leaders such as Eddie Flores, Lukas Hendricks, Sam Whitney and Rodney Ellison. Special teams have turned games, including Cole Thompson. And the Bulldogs are averaging nearly 150 yards a game rushing behind Bailey Laolagi, Bryan Weldy and Tre Green.
It all starts with the big guys up front. Tommy Farrell is the center. Sam Whitney and Cody Creason are the tackles. Will Koch, Jarod Nooner and Nick Bolling are the guards.
"The line has been great," Browning said. "The Delta River League has some good defensive linemen and our guys have done a great job. And our guys are physical. They want teams to know they played Folsom."
As for the defense, Browning said it's a complete team.
"We don't have to outscore people in a shootout," Browning said. "It used to be the offense got all the attention. Now it's the defense, too, and they deserve it."
- Joe Davidson
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