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D-III QB Sam Durley sets all-time NCAA record with 736 passing yards

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer
Eureka quarterback Sam Durley completed 34 passes for 736 yards and five touchdowns in a 62-55 win. (Eureka.edu)

The first college football Saturday has already delivered plenty of memorable moments, but the real history wasn't happening in Jerryworld or the Georgia Dome - it was in Galesburg, Ill. in a D-III showdown between Eureka Red Devils and Knox Prairie Fire.

Eureka quarterback Sam Durley completed 34 of 52 passes for 736 yards and five touchdowns in a 62-55 win for the Red Devils. The total broke the NCAA all-time all-levels record for passing yards in a single game, topping Menlo College quarterback Zamir Amin's 2000 record of 731 yards.

"I was just so focused on getting a win," Durley told the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star. "We needed a start the season with a win. I was worried about the defense getting a stop and they finally camp up big (in the fourth quarter). I just wanted to keep moving the ball. I couldn't ask for a better line and receiving corps. Everyone did their part and good things happened."

Good things mean video game things, I suppose, because 736 yards is ridiculous. Durley's top receiver, Jordan Kindred (13 receptions, 235 yards), was a basketball player playing organized football for the first time in his life. Durley also picked up the total while leading the Red Devils back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit.

Eureka finished with 821 total offensive yards (a school record), and Durley also became the school's all-time passing leader for yards, attempts, and touchdowns in the game. But that is not all…

"Both teams played hard," Eureka coach Kurt Barth said after the game. "It just came down to who had the ball in the end. Offensively I don't think we could have played any better.

"Boy did Sam have a fantastic game. He called a lot of his own plays all through the game. I haven't seen him play better."

Oh, he called a lot of his own plays too? Expected considering the numbers, but still very impressive.

For more on Durley's historic performance, check out the release at Eureka.edu

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