Running backs at the college level usually fit into one of two styles of running, and Eastern workhorse Jesse Chatman is no different.
Chatman, a 5-foot-8-inch, 232 pound junior from Seattle could be considered Eastern’s “tough yardage” back when the season started, but with his overall dominance the past season has led to him being the feature player in the Eagles’ offensive scheme.
Chatman rushed for 196 yards and all four of the Eagles’ touchdowns in Saturday’s 28-9 win over visiting Northern Arizona in the gusty Northwest winds and the last home game of the year.
He accounted for 88 rushing yards in the first quarter alone and literally carried the team to victory.
The career day by the junior proved to notch his place among the best to ever run the ball for the Eagles.
Coming into Saturday, Chatman needed a three-digit game to topple the 1,000 yard mark for the season and become just the eighth Eastern running back to do so.
Last season a knee injury against Cal St. Sacramento led to Chatman’s season end with 889 yards in just nine games.
Even though the injury to end his impressive campaign, Chatman was an honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection.
It appeared that he was on pace last season to break the 1,000-yard mark, but this year it was proved that he was not only tough to tackle, but also one of the premier backs in Eastern history.
The standout has rushed for over the century mark in six games this season and has racked up 550 yards and 5 touchdowns in the past four games.
With Saturday’s effort, Eastern has had a player rush for 1,000 yards for the past six seasons, starting with Joe Sewell and his 1,025 effort in 1995.
Sewell added another 1,094 to the record books in the next season, before Rex Prescott rushed for a school-record 1,494 in 1997.
Mike MacKenzie ran for 1,396 in 1998 and was preceded by now junior Jovan Griffith and 1,275 last season.
The other three times a Eagle player has rushed for the pinnacle mark for a running back, was Mel Stanton in 1965 with 1,049, Meriel Michelson and his 1,049 in 1950 and finally the 1,007 by Jamie Townsendin 15 years ago.
With strong performance on Saturday, Chatman has rushed for 1,043 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.