Independence senior running back Matt Bromley scored four touchdowns in Thursday night's 53-15 victory over Parsons, growing his season total to 30 touchdowns and breaking his own Southeast Kansas League record that he set last season.
Bromley scored 29 touchdowns last season to break the record of 28 that was set by Chanute's Ty Blanchard in 2008, The single-season touchdown record has been tied or broken each of the last three seasons.
Playoff games count in the totals and the Bulldogs reached the playoffs last season. He needed two fewer games to break his record this season and will have at least one playoff game to add to his total.
This also gives Bromley 59 touchdowns the past two seasons. There is no official career total category for the SEK as for many years up until about 2006, only the single-season leader was recorded.
Bromley has also scored a pair of 2-point conversions to give him a total of 184 points on the season, breaking his own record of 180 set last season. That had tied the record set by Chanute's Nathan Oehlert in 2005 when he scored 22 touchdowns and kicked 39 extra points and 3 field goals.
Chanute's Eric Bowman scored three touchdowns in the Blue Comets' 42-12 victory over Girard to raise his season total to 23. He became the 12th player in league history to score 20 touchdowns in a season the week before. Of those 12, seven have joined the club since 2005 and four of them played for Chanute.
Bromley becomes the first play both to score 30 touchdowns and to score more than 20 twice. With Bowman's 23 scores, this is just the second season in SEK history in which more than one player reached the end zone 20 times. The first time occurred last season when Bromley and then-seniors Lewis Kellogg of Columbus (22 TD) and Davey Brown of Labette County (21 TD) did so.
Prior to Blanchard, Fort Scott High's Josh Lattimer had held the TD record since the 2000 season, when he scored 25 touchdowns.
The highest Tiger on the list this season is senior Griffin Knopp, who is in sixth place with 76 points. Knopp has scored 7 touchdowns, a two-point conversion and 32 extra-point kicks. He is second in the league in scoring from kicks with 32 points. Independence's Garrett Webster leads with 34 points (31 extra points and a field goal).
Fort Scott will go into the playoffs with the SEK's No. 1 scoring defense. The Tigers have allowed only 16.8 points per game. Chanute follows with 18.9 points per game.
The Tiger offense has come around in the past three weeks. After six weeks, Fort Scott was next to last in scoring offense, averaging just 19.2 points per game. The Tigers have improved to 29.8 points per game, which is fifth.
Since district play began three weeks ago, no team in the SEK has scored more points (153) or allowed fewer (27) than Fort Scott. Chanute is the next-highest scoring team in that span with 132 points followed by Coffeyville with 129. Chanute and Independence are the next-best defensive teams, each allowing 51 points.
The Tigers' performance has also allowed them to rise from a negative scoring differential (-1.5 points a game) after six weeks to a 13-point differential, which is the third-best in the SEK behind Chanute (25.2) and Indy (23.7).
The top five scoring teams all qualified for the playoffs.
The 12 players who have scored 20 or more touchdowns in Southeast Kansas League history, sorted by when they accomplished the feat:
1972: Rex Garner, Pittsburg, 20.
1991: Chris Jones, Parsons, 22.
1994: Ryan Close, Pittsburg, 22.
1998: Matt Hess, Columbus, 23.
2000: Josh Lattimer, Fort Scott, 25.
2005: Nathan Oehlert, Chanute, 22.
2006: Austin Braman, Chanute, 23.
2008: Ty Blanchard, Chanute, 28.
2009: Matt Bromley, Independence, 29; Lewis Kellogg, Columbus; 22; Davey Brown, Labette County, 21
2010: Matt Bromley, Independence, 30; Eric Bowman, Chanute, 23 (season still in progress).
The following Fort Scott plays have led the league in scoring:
1973: Steve Kibble, 9 TD, 12 point-after-touchdown (PAT) kicks, 66 points.
1995: Terry Young, 18 TD, 108 points.
1996: Travis Stepps, 15 TD, 5 PAT kicks, 2 two-point conversions, 2 field goals, 105 points.
1999: Clark McCracken, 17 TD, 102 points.
2000: Josh Lattimer, 25 TD, 150 points.
2001: Andy LaRoche, 15 TD, 1 two-pt. conversion, 92 pts.
2004: Stephen Doherty, 14 TD, 50 PAT kicks, 2 FG, 140 points.