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Conway Springs’ Wood rushes for state-record 659 yards

Published Oct. 19 at 11:05 p.m. | Last updated Oct. 23 at 9:45 a.m.

Each time Conway Springs senior quarterback Tanner Wood carried the ball Friday night at Chaparral — all 36 times — he focused solely on keeping his legs moving. When a defensive player hit him or grabbed at him or hung on him, Wood kept his legs churning.

Wood finished with a Kansas-record 659 rushing yards on 36 carries as Conway Springs defeated Chaparral 84-56. Wood had nine touchdowns as Conway Springs (7-1) improved to 2-0 in Class 3A-District 9.

“You’re not really thinking about anything, just driving your legs, hoping you’re staying off the ground and keeping them off you and breaking free,” Wood said. “… I wasn’t that tired until my last run. I’m pretty tired now.”

The previous record was held by Claflin’s Kipp Connell, set in 1998, when he ran for 488 yards.

Conway Springs had to rely on Wood (6-foot-5, 240 pounds), who has made an oral commitment to Kansas State, because the Cardinals’ defense struggled to stop Chaparral.

It was a back-and-forth game that was tied at 48-all midway through the third quarter.

“It was somewhat frustrating,” said Wood, who is also a linebacker. “But we ended up cleaning it up after half and getting some stops. We just knew we had to respond on offense and keep it going.”

Conway Springs scored 36 straight points after the 48-all tie.

While Wood had no idea how many yards he had until after the game, coach Matt Biehler knew he had more than 300 yards at the half.

“When he touches it, he has a chance to go each time,” Biehler said. “We had to get some other guys carries to keep them honest, but Tanner’s pretty special.”

After Wood pounded through the line or broke free from would-be tacklers, he was difficult to catch.

“I tried to accelerate as fast as I could and get out of there, so they couldn’t run me down. I was acting like one of the Burns kids (Trinity graduate Morgan Burns and sophomore Tyler Burns) were running after me.”

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