Nylen Relives Record Breaking Day
RHAM’s Max Nylen broke the program’s single game rushing mark and touchdown total during the Raptors 69-39 win over Farmington on Oct. 1. Through five games, the senior captain is on pace to break more records this fall.
507 total yards and eight touchdowns is a solid season’s worth of statistics for a high school football player.
But putting up those numbers in one game is otherworldly.
RHAM’s senior captain Max Nylen pulled off the phenomenal feat, dominating from start to finish during the Raptors 69-39 victory over Farmington on Oct. 1.
Playing in front of family and friends at RHAM High School, Nylen ran for 375 yards, scoring seven touchdowns on the ground and hauling in a receiving touchdown from 29 yards out. He added 103 return yards—31 on kick returns and 72 more on an interception.
Once the dust had settled he had obliterated the RHAM record books and his eight touchdowns are the third highest in the history of Connecticut High School football.
“Throughout the game I was just focused on winning, because those touchdowns would be for nothing if we didn’t come out on top,” recalled Nylen.
The 30-point margin on the scoreboard may have been lopsided, but that wasn’t the case throughout the first three quarters.
Playing in rainy conditions, the high-octane teams traded touchdowns throughout the first three quarters and Raptors led by only two points in the fourth quarter before scoring the game’s final 28 points to cap off a record-breaking 69-point day for the offense.
Nylen was an equal opportunity end zone visitor, scoring three times in the first half and added five in the second half.
“I knew at halftime I had three, but it didn’t feel like I had three because we were only up seven points,” recalled Nylen. “Going into the second half we kept scoring, but they kept scoring too, so I wasn’t paying too much attention to what I had. Once we started pulling away in the fourth quarter I began to realize the history that I was making.”
All told, the teams combined for 15 touchdowns with RHAM crossing the goal line ten times.
Offense was king, yet it was a defensive play by Nylen that permanently swung the momentum in favor of the Raptors. Leading 41-39, Nylen intercepted a pass and returned it 72 yards to set up his fifth rushing touchdown.
Nylen’s eight scores came from 70, 60, 55, 45, 29, 16, 4, and 2 yards out. His long runs provided the highlights, but the productive running back credited the guys leading the way.
The offensive line—known as The Junkyard Dogs—featuring starting linemen Jack Smith, Thiago Delacruz, Caden Bellmore, Brody Magnanini, Lino Amodeo, and tight end Tommy Puetzer opened sizeable running lanes for Nylen.
“They did a tremendous job. I firmly believe that their names belong on this record just as much as my name does,” stated Nylen. “Because of the work those guys did in the trenches I was able to make those long runs and score as many touchdowns as I did.”
Backfield mate and fellow captain Michael Marques added 185 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also served as a lead back on many of Nylen’s scoring scampers.
Nylen and Marques have been playing together since the seventh grade and have become RHAM’s version of Thunder and Lightning, with Marques providing the thunderous booms and Nylen supplying the lighting strikes.
“On the field, we complement each other well,” said Nylen, who called Marques a “fantastic run blocker.”
Prior to the game, the backfield tandem knew they would have to shoulder a bigger bulk to the load because starting quarterback Brady Hulland was sidelined with an injury.
Backup quarterback Chris Ford filled in admirably, throwing the 29-yard scoring strike to Nylen in the third quarter.
The end result was 589 scrimmage yards, resulting in a new program-high 69 points.
“I never expected us to score that many points,” Nylen said of the team's scoring record. “We have a young offensive line and a young offense in general without a lot of varsity experience. So to go out there and have that performance, I was blown away.”
He was also surprised when he found out his final rushing total. While celebrating with his teammates, his coach came up and told him the gaudy total of 375 yards.
“I said ‘are you sure you counted that right?,” recalled Nylen, who touched the ball 32 time and joked that the only thing sore after the game was his hamstrings, “It’s probably the most cardio I’ve done in a while.”
He followed up the record-breaking day with another masterpiece, totaling 254 yards and four scores in a win over Plainville on Oct. 7.
Coming into the season, Nylen aimed to topple his performance from a season ago when he had 1228 scrimmage yards (rushing/receiving) and 14 touchdowns in nine games.
Through five games this season, he already has 975 scrimmage yards and has matched his 14 touchdowns from last fall.
Nylen’s goal for the rest of the season is simple, saying, “I hope to continue playing the way that I’ve been playing.”
If he does that, he’ll shatter even more records as he in on pace to eclipse 2,800 all-purpose yards and tally 28 touchdowns.
RHAM (4-1) is riding a three-game winning streak and is on a bye this week before returning to host East Catholic on Saturday, Oct. 22.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin