All season long AU’s football team has relied on freshman quarterback Tyson Harley and sophomore wide receiver Zac Tallent to provide on offense. They have delivered time and time again, breaking a number of school records along the way.
On Saturday, both players set new single-game records while further establishing themselves in the single-season record book.
Harley, a Mount Vernon alumnus, broke his own school record for most passing yards in a game with 512 yards on Saturday. He also threw for five touchdowns, four of which came in the second half. He previously broke the record four weeks ago against Franklin with 479 passing yards.
The freshman quarterback also tied the school record with 42 passes completed. Harley ranks in the top-five in school history for passing yards, completions and attempts in a season. He is sixth in touchdown passes.
“We had a lot of fun out there Saturday,” said Harley. “Our offense was rolling from the beginning, and my receivers did a great job of getting open. The offensive line did a good job of keeping me on my feet and giving me time to throw. Obviously, I wish we could have come away with a win, but I felt great about how the offense was rolling today.”
“Tyson is continuing to make great progress in his first year,” said Head Coach Steve Rock. “I’m not at all surprised that Tyson eclipsed his single-game record. When he comes out and executes the game plan as given to him by our offensive coordinator Tim Sanders, we are hard to stop.”
Tallent hauled in 22 passes, easily breaking the previous record of 17. His season total of 92 is also a new school record for most receptions in a season.
“Tyson did a good job finding me early in the game and continued to do so throughout,” said Tallent. “I knew the number I had to get to break the records, but I didn’t think I was close at all. I appreciate the big guys up front for giving Tyson the time he needed to find me and get me the ball.”
“Zac has been a phenomenal leader on the offense,” said Rock. “He comes to work every day and gives everything he has to get better and to help his team grow. The reality is Zach’s best football is ahead of him and a phenomenal effort in the offseason will allow him to be bigger, faster and stronger. Add that to his preparation and leadership and you can see how he will improve.”
Both players complemented the offensive line for allowing them the time they need to consistently hook up on drives. Harley was sacked just one Saturday and running back Reggie Lipscomb ran the ball for 137 yards and two touchdowns. The team’s strength up front has allowed for the duo to dominate.
The previous records for most completions and most receptions in a game were held by quarterback Joel Steele and wide receiver David Vance. Just like Harley and Tallent, the two set the record on the same day in 2001 against Taylor, where 17 of Steele’s 42 completions were hauled in by Vance.
With one game remaining this season, Harley and Tallent will have a chance to add to their totals as AU looks to finish the season with a win.