By Paul Brekke-Miesner, The East Oakland Kid
As Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch juked and powered his way for 122 yards in a win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, unbeknownst to most local football fans, Lynch established a new Oakland milestone. He surpassed former pro running back MacArthur Lane in career rushing yardage by an Oaklander in the National Football League.
With his performance against the Cowboys, Lynch has now rushed for a total of 4,749 yards in his sixth season in the NFL. Lane gained 4,656 yards rushing during 11 NFL seasons. Lane, however, gained 2,786 yards in receiving during his pro career while Lynch has 1,032 yards receiving thus far in his. So Lane still leads in overall yardage 7,442 yards to 5,781. At his current pace, Lynch will likely surpass Lane in total yardage within the next two seasons. If the Seahawks finally decide to utilize Lynch’s ability as a receiver coming out of the back field, he may eclipse that mark sooner.
Lane played his prep football at Fremont High School before going on to Merritt College where he was a junior college All-American linebacker. He then played at Utah State University before being drafted into the NFL in the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals. The 6 foot, 220 pounder was All-Pro in 1970 when he rushed for 977 yards, third best in the NFL that season, and led the league in rushing touchdowns with 11. In 1976 he led the league in pass receiving with 66 receptions. During his 11 pro seasons, Lane also played for the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Lynch was a high school All-American at Oakland Tech High, leading the Bulldogs to an O.A.L. championship in 2003 while gaining 1,722 yards. He stayed close to home and attended the University of California for three years where he became the second leading ground gainer in Cal history, amassing 3,230 yards. He also established a school-record with seventeen 100-yard games. Lynch was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2006 and an All-American. Drafted in the first round by the Buffalo Bills, the 5’11”, 215 pound Lynch responded with a rookie season of 1,115 yards and 7 touchdowns and established his moniker “Beast Mode” for his running style.