As minor league football gets set to kick into full swing for the 125th year in the Pacific Northwest this month, a quarterback in Portland, Oregon has been quietly writing his name into that rich history the past eight years, but brought along a sledgehammer to the record books.
On November 27, 1891, a young group of Oregonians, in front of a 1,000 spectators dominated a club from Washington in the first ever game of its kind; 30-6. Not a huge score by today’s standards, however this was the era of the 4-point touchdown and no passing game.
On April 11, 2015 that “Border War” continues with the official kickoff of the Pacific Northwest season and games between Oregon and Washington teams; and for the eighth year, Russell Schneider will don the colors of a Portland team and look to etch his name firmly in the annals of minor league history. Already rewriting the regional records researched and archived by the GNFA, Schneider is gunning for John Kennedy’s career touchdown mark. Kennedy, the Scranton Eagles legend and AFA Hall of Famer, holds most of the major QB records in the nation after over 20 years of playing according to SemiProHQ website and Hall of Fame historian and researcher Steven Brainerd.
Schneider needs 7 touchdown passes to move ahead of Kennedy establish a new All-Time record at 378 career scores. What’s even more amazing is, he could accomplish that in his first game of the season on April 4th. He’s done it before.
Never has there been a more prolific pass attack in the Pacific Northwest than the one Russ has quarterbacked during his tenure. Florida’s famed “Fun-and-Gun” offense of the 1990’s has nothing on what Portland and Schneider has been doing. In four of his seasons Russ has passed for over 50 touchdowns in a season and has fallen short of 3,000 yards in a season on only two occasions. And those are just the season records, the single-game records have fallen like dominoes it seems, on a weekly basis. 10, 8, 7 TD passes in a game have become commonplace for Schneider.
A stark contrast in styles to how the game has evolved since that Thanksgiving weekend 125 years ago when line bucks in the mud by halfbacks were the story of the day and quarterbacks , were well, just a quarter of the way deep in the backfield.
April 4th, Schneider and his Portland Raiders look to defend their 2014 PFL/GNFA Championship. We expect records to fall, much like they have every season since 2008.
By the numbers:
Year Complete Att Yards TD
2008 178 335 3312 44 (Oregon Monarchs – OFL spring)
2008 193 343 3106 40 (East County Blackshirts – NAFL summer)
2009 214 400 3461 49 (Portland Monarchs – PFL)
2010 214 412 3606 50 (Portland Monarchs – PFL)
2011 175 297 2971 51 (Portland Monarchs – PFL)
2012 266 422 4119 59 (Portland Monarchs – PFL)
2013 78 125 1320 21 (Portland Boltz – PDFL)
2014 267 490 4419 57 (Portland Raiders – PFL)
2-Time GNFA Northwest Player of the Year
6-Time GNFA 1st Team All-Region
5-Time GNFA Championship Quarterback
John Kennedy – 22 seasons
2,563 comp / 5,016 att 38,646 yards 377 TD’s
Russ Schneider – 8 seasons
1,585 comp / 2,824 att 26,314 yards 371 TD’s