Kern’s sixth touchdown pass in Friday night’s 41-7 win over Winters Mill brought his season total to 39 – one more than the previous record set by former Owl Kevin Clancy in 2005.
Going into the game, Kern didn’t know he was that close to the record, but he found out just before he threw the record-breaking pass.
“At halftime, my friend told me that he saw on Twitter that I only needed one more. I wasn’t really paying attention to it,” said Kern, who sat down for the rest of the lopsided game soon after he set the record.
Kern needed only half as many games to reach his milestone as Clancy did to set his. Clancy played in all 14 games in 2005, the last time the Owls reached the state final.
Now, Kern said, he's aiming for the state record. He only needs 17 more to match the record of 56 set by Arundel's Billy Cosh in 13 games in 2008. If Kern should continue at this blistering pace and the No. 5 Owls (7-0) go all the way to the state final, he could obliterate the state mark with 78 touchdowns.
Earlier this season, Kern tied the state single-game record when he threw seven touchdown passes in a 49-14 win at Linganore. That matched the record set by Kennedy’s Melvin Harris in 2006 and tied by Cosh in 2009 and Century’s Ryan Throndset in 2010. Kern threw five of those touchdowns to Garrett Bean, who also tied a state single-game record set by City’s Dwight Banks in 1993.
In the Winters Mill game, Kern was 18-for-32 for 348 yards and threw touchdowns to four receivers – two each to Darius Clifton and Dan Johnson and one apiece to Bean and Bradley Metcalf.
For the season, Kern has completed 119 of 194 passes for 2,334 yards. He’s been intercepted seven times. Bean leads the team in receiving touchdowns with 12, followed by Metcalf with 11, Clifton with seven, Johnson with five and Ryan Hursey with three.
At this rate, Kern also has a shot at Cosh’s records for most passing yards in a season (3,913) and most total offensive yards in a season (4,074).
“I just use the records as motivation,” Kern said. “When I think about the record (39 touchdown passes) after the game or something, it motivates me to do better. The records are nice, but our goal is to win the state championship game.”