UNION, Ky. -- If Jake Chisholm is not the best football player to suit up for Ryle High School in its now 26-season history, he's close.
In fact, Raiders coach Mike Engler has never seen a running back like his senior who enters Friday's regular-season finale at Dixie Heights with 1,977 yards on 222 carries through nine games.
"He has to go down as one of the best, if not the best," Engler said. "Some of our assistants who have been here for a while say he's the best Ryle has ever had. In my 20-some years of coaching -- and I've won a couple state championships at Lexington Catholic and have coached some really good football players -- he is the best running back I've ever coached. By far."
That's not to take anything away from the other players Engler has coached or other big-time players in Ryle history.
Chisholm is just that good.
"This kid has it all," Engler said. "He has the speed, the work ethic, the ability to make plays and the ability to put his team on his back. He has the leadership qualities. There is an aura about him and he is just a winner."
Chisholm is a good bet to eclipse 2,000 yards on the ground for the season Friday with only 23 yards to go. A school-record 449 yards on the ground last week in a 56-38 win over Simon Kenton and a total of six games this season with more than 200 yards rushing have him on the brink.
CLICK on the video in this tweet to watch five of Chisholm's TD runs against Simon Kenton:
— Philip Lee (@PhilipRLee) October 21, 2017
His school record last week bested Eddie Smith's record from 1995, according to Ryle athletic director Jim Demler. Smith was the first Ryle running back to surpass the 300-yard mark in a game when he went for 301 yards in the Raiders' first win over Highlands that season and then he went for 354 yards in their first playoff victory against Magoffin County.
Chisholm would be the first Ryle runner to reach 2,000 yards since Travis Elliott did it as a junior with a school-record 2,215 yards on 283 carries while leading the Raiders to the Class 6A state semifinals in 2010. Smith finished 1995 with 2,123 yards on 309 carries. Chisholm is also three rushing touchdowns from tying Elliott's 32 in 2010 and eight from matching Elliott's career total of 68, according to Demler.
And the senior is closing in on the all-time career rushing record for the Raiders. His 4,435 yards since his first varsity carry as a sophomore put him 56 yards behind Elliott's school record total of 4,491.
"Honestly, I couldn't imagine that I'd be at these statistics at this point in the season," Chisholm said. "We've been playing well. We're playing some of our best football at this point in the season, which is great. I know that I've had a big role in that and it hasn't been anything I could have imagined."
Chisholm is also the Raiders' leading receiver this season with 16 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He has completed each of the three passes he's attempted for 114 yards. But it is his ability to pile up yardage on the ground that sets him apart.
"He has vision you can't coach," Engler said. "He is able to see it and cut on a dime. I've never seen a back do it as well as he does."
To Chisholm, it's all about finding the holes his blockers open.
"My offensive line does a great job and our lead blockers do a great job of blocking those linebackers," Chisholm said. "Sometimes there is just a man we can't account for and I have to make something work. Finding holes is probably my best attribute."
He's been doing it since his sophomore season on the varsity level. Chisholm began to get more and more carries in 2015 and finished with a team-high 767 yards on 125 carries with nine touchdowns in 10 games. As a junior, he amassed 1,691 yards on 188 carries with 22 TDs in 13 games.
As a senior, he's quickly closing in on history.
"Right now, the only thing I'm worried about is getting to the state championship game and having as long a season as we possibly can," Chisholm said. "At the end of the season, when it is all said and done, I'll look back at it and know I made a mark on Ryle football."
He'd also like to play college football, but his main goal is to go to medical school one day. And while representatives from Division III programs to Football Bowl Subdivision schools have been in contact, Chisholm has yet to pick up his first offer.
"It just blows my mind." Engler said. "I think there are some that are on the verge of offering. Why they're waiting, I don't know."
Chisholm said interest has picked up in recent weeks, especially in the past week following his historic night against Simon Kenton.
"It's nice to know that there are schools out there that want to talk to me," Chisholm said. "I want to play college football, but my main goal in life is to go to a school and get a great education and hopefully go to medical school to become a doctor."