Felice sets record with 421 receiving yards
An Arkansas small school wide receiver has broken the national record for pass receiving yards in a game, but it wasn't enough for a victory.
J.D. Felice of Rose Bud High School in Rose Bud, Ark., landed 24 passes for a record 421 yards and five touchdowns, but the Ramblers bowed to England High 64-55 in a game that featured 1,231 total yards of offense. Both teams now have 1-7 records.
Felice broke the listed yardage national mark of 414 yards set by Jasper Lee from Delta High of Mer Rouge, La., against Oak Grove High in 2000. Lee has the highest reported total in the National Federation of State High School Association record book and it was the highest reported total in files maintained by ESPN RISE and previously published in the Student Sports Football Record Book.
"We knew he had over 20 catches, but when we checked the film we shook our heads and couldn't believe he had that many yards," said Steve Rose, first-year head coach at Rose Bud who put in the spread offense this year after the team previously had run a Wing-T offense.
Felice also broke two state receiving records set by Slade Camp of Stuttgart in a 34-33 loss to Wynne in the 2001 Class AAAA state championship game. Camp landed 23 receptions in that game for 406 yards.
The reported national record for most pass receptions in a single game is 29 by Jeff Clark of Nitro, W.Va., set in 1999 in a game against Roane County of Spencer, W.Va. Research, however, is pending on a possible single-game total of 32 from the 1950s in Ohio.
England High recorded its first win with 567 total yards of offense, including 540 on the ground. Sophomore Mark Hatton carried 21 times for 171 yards and four TDs. Senior Demarcus Bunch carried 11 times for 152 yards and two scores and junior Taylor Williams had 111 yards and one TD on 10 rushes.
"There definitely wasn't a defensive player of the game," quipped England head coach Mike Morrison. "It was like a track meet out there."
Felice, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior who played quarterback as a sophomore and junior on the school's first two football squads, scored five TDs covering 48, 20, 12, 4 and 6 yards and also rushed for a 4-yard score. Two quarterbacks ran the offense. Senior Josh Klapp completed 29 of 36 passes for 495 yards and five TDs. Sophomore Aaron Parker completed two passes to Felice for 75 yards and one TD.
Felice's longest reception play covered 55 yards and he had one minus-1 yardage play on a catch.
"He's a very good athlete with good hands and he is a good route runner," Rose said. "We're proud of him."
Doug Huff is a senior editor of ESPN RISE and is a member of the National Federation Hall of Fame. He has been compiling national and regional rankings in multiple sports since 1987 and is credited as the founder of the national record book.