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St. Vincent Pallotti graduate Jaret Patterson breaking rushing records for the University of Buffalo

What St. Vincent Pallotti graduate Jaret Patterson did carrying the ball for Buffalo University in last week’s 70-41 thrashing of Kent State captured the attention of the entire nation.

The 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back rushed for 409 yards on 36 carries and scored eight touchdowns.

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His eight touchdowns tied a Football Bowl Subdivision record and his 409 yards rushing was second all-time.

He shares that spot with Howard Griffith, of Illinois, who did it in 1991.

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Oklahoma’s Samaje Perrine set the single-game rushing mark of 427 yards in 2014.

Patterson scored on runs of 3, 31, 42, 49, 1, 7, 11 and 58 yards, leading the game analyst and former NFL player Ross Tucker to tweet: “I could call games for 40 more years and I’ll never see a performance like that by RB Jaret Patterson again. Unreal.”

NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted praise for the junior running back after his phenomenal effort.

It was the second straight game Patterson has rushed for over 300 yards for the unbeaten Bulls (4-0).

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In the previous week’s 42-17 victory over Bowling Green, he had 301 yards and scored four touchdowns.

He is the first Division I player to rush for over 300 yards in consecutive games since Ricky Williams, of the University of Texas, in 1996.

Patterson, who grew up in Glenn Dale, played four years at Pallotti before graduating in 2018 and started on offense and defense all four years for former coach Ian Thomas.

Thomas has not been surprised by Patterson’s rise to stardom, where he leads the nation in yards per carry (8.6) and is fifth in total yards rushing with 920 (107 attempts).

“I’m not surprised, not even a little bit,” Thomas said. “He’s an unbelievable player, an unbelievable person.”

Buffalo Bulls running back Jaret Patterson runs past Northern Illinois Huskies linebacker Daveren Rayner in a season-opening 49-30 victory. Patterson, a Pallotti graduate, had 137 yards rushing in that contest and 920 through four games for the unbeaten Bulls.
Buffalo Bulls running back Jaret Patterson runs past Northern Illinois Huskies linebacker Daveren Rayner in a season-opening 49-30 victory. Patterson, a Pallotti graduate, had 137 yards rushing in that contest and 920 through four games for the unbeaten Bulls. (Kamil Krzaczynski / AP)

Patterson wasted little time proving his ability to read blocking assignments, combined with a shifty and powerful running style, would be successful.

In 2018, he was the first freshman in Buffalo school history to rush for over 1,000 yards.

As a sophomore, he broke the school’s single season record for rushing yards with 1,799 yards (fifth in the nation).

That year, he had 19 touchdowns, including six while rushing for 298 yards in a victory over Bowling Green.

“He’s such a hard worker and I think more so his will to compete, obviously, he’s talented, but his willingness to work is what has gotten him to this point,” Thomas said. “He’s outworked everybody he has ever been around.”

At Pallotti, during his senior year, he rushed for 2.045 yards and scored 23 touchdowns.

The all-state honorable mention selection had 558 multi-purpose yards against Riverdale Baptist that included 282 rushing yards, 54 receiving, 124 on kick returns and 98 on an interception return.

He also played with his brother James at Pallotti and continued to do so at Buffalo, where James is a standout middle linebacker.

“His brother was one on my little protégés as well,” Thomas said.

After the Bulls defeated Bowling Green, Jaret Patterson was named Mid-American East Offensive Player of the Week and James Patterson was selected Defensive Player of the Week.

James Patterson had 13 tackles (eight solo) and one pass breakup. It was the second time Jaret Patterson received the honor.

He picked up his third MAC East Player of the Week award after the win over Kent State and was also named Maxwell Award Player of the Week and Walter Camp Football Foundation Offensive Player of the Week.

He was the first Buffalo player in history to receive the Maxwell Award Player of the Week.

Buffalo (4-0) has two regular-season games remaining, starting with a 3:30 p.m. game Saturday at Ohio University on CBS Sports Network.

Thomas knows he will be one interested spectator.

“Definitely, I’ll be very excited to see that, always excited to see the guys compete and doing what they love to do,” Thomas said.

Buffalo would end its season at home against Akron on Dec. 12 with the MAC conference championship game scheduled for Dec. 18.

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