The junior tailback finished with 2,052 yards and 27 touchdowns, while averaging 7.8 yards per carry.
“I worked for it during the offseason last year,” Kirkland said. “You get out what you put in. The line helped me along the way. I couldn’t do it without them.”
“Rushing for over 2,000 yards, there are not many guys who do that at any level,” Landmark football coach Wayne Brantley said. “That is a milestone—something that is very, very special. Running backs kind of shoot for that but really 1,000 yards is the mark. If you rush for 1,000 yards you’ve had a great season but rushing for 2,000 is really incredible.”
In order to reach this mark, Kirkland had to have some special performances and remain healthy. After seven games, he had more than 1,000 yards. He rushed for more than 200 yards against Holy Innocents’ (284), First Presbyterian Day (226), Our Lady of Mercy (248) and Pace Academy (219).
“We’re not really tricky about what we do,” Brantley said. “So I think last year and this year everybody knew going into the game that they would have to stop No. 22 to beat Landmark. People loaded up against our running game, put eight in the box but we were still able to be successful.”
Kirkland almost went over 200 yards against Mt. Vernon (193), and in the playoff meeting with Calvary Day (191) as well.
“Jeremiah is one of the best players I’ve coached as far as his work ethic in practice,” Brantley said. “He will probably end up being the best player in Landmark history if he is not already. We’re glad we got him for one more year.”
Coming as no surprise, Kirkland is already putting in the work to surpass his recent accomplishments. Brantley believes Kirkland can have an even better senior season because of his focus and the fact that Stockton McGuire will have more experience at quarterback.
“I think we will be able to throw the ball a little more effectively next year which should take a little bit of the pressure off of Jeremiah and loosen the defenses up a little bit,” Brantley said. “In doing that, I think he has a shot to break this record.”