Football: Atkinson rewrites record book in Fairview win

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Legacy High School's Dakota Key runs the ball during a game against Fairview on Thursday at Recht Field in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Fairview quarterback Aidan Atkinson threw for 707 yards and nine scores Thursday. Go to for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School quarterback Aldan Atkinson throws a touchdown pass during a game against Legacy on Thursday at Recht Field in Boulder.



Top single-game passing totals in 11-man football nationally

1. 787, Matt Miller, DuBois, 2015

2. 764, David Koral, Pacific Palisades, 2000

3. 724, Mike Richardson, Marble Falls, 2012

4. 712, Travis Quintanilla, Refugio, 2013

5. 690, Damien Ferguson, Asheville Clyde Erwin, 2016

6. 687, Aidan Atkinson, Fairview, 2018

* according to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book

Editor’s note: After reviewing the game film, Fairview officials determined quarterback Aidan Atkinson finished with 687 yards passing and nine touchdowns. The passing yardage and touchdown totals are both all-time, single-game state records for 11-man football and the sixth-best 11-man total all-time nationally. The story has been updated to reflect those totals.

BOULDER — Even for Fairview’s Aidan Atkinson, who puts up ridiculous passing numbers with regularity, his performance at Recht Field on Thursday night made it an evening to remember.

In a 67-33 win over Legacy, Atkinson unofficially shattered passing records left and right with 687 yards through the air and nine passing touchdowns. His numbers won’t become official until the team confirms the statistics on film, but Atkinson’s 687 passing yards would easily land him sixth all-time nationally for a single game, according to the NFHS record books.

Colorado’s previous 11-man football record for single-game passing yards was 607 yards and was held by former Holy Family quarterback Chris Helbig.

“The state records are cool and all but that’s not why we play,” Atkinson said. “We play to win a state championship. This was a great game. Me and my receivers, we work so hard and we practice so hard with our timing and throwing the ball. Coming out here and being able to show everybody that and put up some big numbers, it was great to show everybody what we’re all about.”

At halftime Atkinson had 425 yards, a new state record. His 20 passes completed out of 32 attempts tied him for third all-time in Colorado for a single half with Grand Junction’s Tom Beck (1989) and Fairview quarterbacks Taylor Tharp (’02) and Johnny Feauto (’14), each of whom did it twice. Atkinson completed 33 of his 51 total pass attempts in Thursday’s game.

Playing 6-man football, Longmont Christian’s Luke Puchino set the all-time records for single-game passing in 2016 with 706 yards against Briggsdale and 10 touchdowns against Mountain Valley.

“Aidan is a great kid,” Fairview head coach Tom McCartney said. “I’m super impressed with him. He puts the ball on the money and gives guys a chance to make plays. He was great and our offense was great, and we came up with some stops and some turnovers that separated some things. It was a good win.”

The No. 9-ranked Knights (5-1, 1-0 Front Range) scored just 16 seconds into Thursday’s Front Range League opener on two plays that went 80 yards. Not running a single run play in the first half, they led 33-13 to start the third quarter. Riding a 213-yard performance from tailback Dakota Key, the Lightning (0-6, 0-1 Front Range) scored in just 18 seconds to open the second half on a 72-yard run by Key and a 9-yard passing touchdown from quarterback Nicholas McCarthy to Jack Smith cut the Fairview lead to 33-26 in the third quarter.

But Atkinson, who unofficially leads Colorado with 2,471 passing yards and 32 passing touchdowns through six games, stayed hot and the Knights scored 34 unanswered points to pull away for good.

The Knights will play at Horizon next Thursday. The Lightning will host Poudre next Friday.

Brad Cochi: or


Fairview 67, Legacy 33

At Recht Field

Legacy 103137—33Fairview 20132113—67

First quarter

Fairview — Henry Blackburn 13 pass from Aidan Atkinson (Blackburn kick). Legacy — Jaden Wingfield 7 pass from Nicholas McCarthy (John Hoyland kick). Fairview — Bryce DesJardins 18 pass from Atkinson (kick blocked). Legacy — Hoyland 39 field goal. Fairview — Blackburn 80 pass from Atkinson (Blackburn kick).

Second quarter

Legacy — Hoyland 37 field goal. Fairview — DesJardins 8 pass from Atkinson (Blackburn kick). Fairview — Ashton Nichols 6 pass from Atkinson (kick missed).

Third quarter

Legacy — Dakota Key 72 run (Hoyland kick). Legacy — Jack Smith 9 pass from McCarthy (kick missed). Fairview — DesJardins 61 pass from Atkinson (Blackburn kick). Fairview — Greenwald 19 pass from Atkinson (Blackburn kick). Fairview — DesJardins 52 pass from Atkinson (Blackburn kick).

Fourth quarter

Fairview — Jacob Fenton 88 fumble return (Blackburn kick). Legacy — Noah Anderson 16 run (Hoyland kick). Fairview — Greenwald 34 pass from Atkinson (Blackburn kick).

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