• Penny Weichel

Does he or doesn't he? We'll still probably never know

Update as of Dec. 30: Red Law is over 2,000 career yards rushing -- and still counting.

As I said on Dec. 17 in this space, I'm not convinced that Ian Quarles is Franklin's all-time leading rusher with the 3,089 yards he accumulated in his two years with the Knights in 1988 and 1989.

Zak Lynn (2015) with 2,108 yards and Sean Saunders (2005) with 1,867 were 2-3 all-time behind Quarles. Lynn is still second, but Law has moved into third with 2,009 after I filtered through game stories from 1963-65 -- his freshman through junior seasons. First, I visited newspaperarchives.com and then, lately, newspapers.com.

While I found about 400 more yards for Law, I had no luck with Butch Conrad's sophomore season in 1957. Conrad has 1,923 career yards, but much of his earlier yardage is missing. News-Heralds wouldn't come up for the fall of '57 on newspapers.com.

As for Law there are still 2,270 yards that are unaccounted for from 1963-65, down from 2,670. Unaccounted for yards in '57 is still 523.

As I said, I put an asterisk next to Quarles' career mark -- I'm even more convinced that Law does indeed hold the record. But, we'll still probably never know. At least he's over that 2,000 mark. Would be nice to see Conrad over 2,000, but I'll have to wait for the libraries to reopen to find out.

Both Law and Conrad played in an era when scribes didn't always report individual totals; there are exceptions, such as Conrad's junior and senior seasons rushing totals. The only stat for Law was the 897 yards he ran for his senior year, compliments of former coach Joe Stewart.

A guy named Bud Henderson was sports editor of The News-Herald back then -- until about midway through the 1966 season when the late Jack Mays took over. Henderson had some very nice things to say about Law -- but rarely a yard. In early 1964 he reported Law was the leading ground-gainer in 1963...but he didn't say how many! Grrrr. (The Knights also had senior Chuck Holland that season, and he had a big game vs. Townville in the finale -- 226 yards. That was mentioned, thankfully.)

Henderson also said, "There probably has never been a better two-way performer at FHS than Law."



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