Alaska running back runs for state record 485 yards, 7 TDs in season opening rout

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

It didn't take long for the high school football season to give birth to a stand out performance. There are only two states competing at this point, and it appears we already have a new state record.

Kenai Central routed Nikiski thanks to a record performance by running back Jace Daniels — Facebook
Kenai Central routed Nikiski thanks to a record performance by running back Jace Daniels — Facebook

As reported by the Anchorage Daily News, Kenai (Ak.) Central High senior running back Jace Daniels racked up an unprecedented 485 yards and seven touchdowns to lead Kenai to a 51-16 rout of Nikiski (Ak.) High. Daniels scored on runs of 49 yards twice, 73, 81, 43, 38 and 2 yards, including five touchdowns in the third quarter to rally the Kardinals, who actually trailed 15-14 at halftime.

Incredibly, Daniels accumulated his 485 yards on just 20 carries, averaging more than 24 yards per carry. Nonetheless, those 20 carries were two-thirds of Kenai's offensive plays, part of a staggeringly strange disparity in plays from scrimmage; Nikiski ran 62 offensive plays while Kenai had just 30 offensive snaps.

Making Daniels' performance all the more unprecedented is his relative lack of production in prior seasons. According to the Daily News, Daniels ran for a total of roughly 600 yards during his junior campaign in 2012.

Daniels' totals are believed to be a new state record for single game rushing yards in Alaska, though there are no official records. The last state record formally acknowledged was a 2004 performance in which Anchorage (Ak.) Service High running back Dominique Maddox ran for 395 yards.

Both Daniels and one of his coaches were quick to single out the contributions of Daniels' fullback teammate, whom they said played a key role in opening up holes on the line for the senior.

"Chase Logan was lead-blocking him every single play," Kenai assistant coach Jim Beeson said. "He did a great job lining up and blocking people." …"All of ours were long plays," Beeson said.

Long plays or not, they all added up to a huge number for Jace Daniels, right out of the gate.

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