Wabash Moments: Passing the torch

By Brent Harris
  March 30, 2004


Chris Morris ’04 (above) and Aaron Lafitte ’07 (below) combined to become the most lethal one-two running back combination in Wabash College history. Morris set the school record for career rushing with 3,247 yards. Lafitte became the first freshman running back in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards. The pair combined for 1,727 yards and 27 touchdowns.


One legend paced the sideline at the 110th Monon Bell Classic while two future legends helped the Wabash football team keep the 300-pound trophy for a third consecutive season with a 37-20 victory in the annual clash with DePauw.

Daryl Johnson '82 arrived at Blackstock Stadium as the all-time leading rusher in Wabash football history. As he watched the game from the sideline in the third quarter, his eyes were focused on senior running back Chris Morris '04, who entered the Bell game 88 yards from topping Johnson's career mark of 3,232 yards. It seemed a possibility, but Morris was also sharing time in the backfield with freshman sensation Aaron Lafitte '07.

Lafitte was on pace to set another Little Giant gridiron record. If he could run for 93 yards, the Arizona product had the chance to become the first Wabash freshman running back to top 1,000 yards. But would there be enough opportunities in what almost always proves to be one of the toughest games of the season for Wabash?

That question was answered in the fourth quarter. Morris had already scored three touchdowns to give Wabash the lead when he ripped off a 12-yard gain midway through the final period to move past Johnson for the school record. Morris ended up with 102 yards on 19 carries in his final game in a Wabash uniform.

On the final play of the game, Lafitte had his own 12-yard scamper to finish the season with 1,008 rushing yards after gaining 101 against the Tigers.

When Morris came out of the game in the fourth quarter after setting the record, Johnson met him at the Wabash bench.

"I told him it's time for someone else to have that record," said Johnson. "I know how hard someone has to work to reach that mark in their career. I also know that it takes a special person to do that at Wabash. From everything I've heard and seen, Chris Morris is that type of person."