What was the previous Kansas high school record for rushing yards in a game?
Conway Springs’ Tanner Wood ran for 659 yards on 36 carries Friday night against Chaparral, breaking a record set by Claflin’s Kipp Connell in 1998.
A senior at the time, Connell ran for 488 yards on Nov. 3, 1998 in Claflin’s 73-0 blowout victory against Moundridge in the first round of the Class 2-1A playoffs.
As a team Claflin was in the midst of a dominating run in 2-1A, winning three straight titles from 1997 to 1999, and reaching the title game the next three seasons.
Originally, Connell was credited with 504 yards on 27 carries, breaking the previous state record for 11-man football of 477, set by Burlington's David Sturgeon in 1994.
After reviewing the game film the next day, however, Claflin coach Gregg Webb corrected the numbers to 488.
Connell’s monster game wasn’t exactly a fluke that day, either.
In the Wildcats’ final regular-season game against Sterling, Connell ran for 366 yards — 301 of which came by halftime.
"Someone asked us why we didn't go for the record," said Webb in an Eagle article in 1998. "I didn't even know about it. But I guess the seed was planted.”
Webb also coached girls basketball at Claflin when phenom Jackie Stiles was destroying the record books.
Connell finished the year with 3,382 yards, averaging 260 yards over 13 games, to break the single-season state record, which still stands.
"It still feels like a dream," Connell, who was selected to The Eagle’s Top 11 football team in 1998, said at the time. "I still haven't been able to really sit down and think about everything that has happened. It was just an unbelievable year."
Connell played defensive back at Washburn. Chase’s Jake Kizzar holds the eight-man record with 619 yards, which he accomplished in 2009.