MURRAY — Murray’s Andrew Rider is breaking so many records, frankly, it’s hard to keep track of them all.
The quick-footed senior could not be stopped Friday evening in Murray’s dominating 68-7 victory over Ankeny Christian Academy. Rider scored four touchdowns in the contest.
Two came on punt returns for TDs — one for 37, another for 39 yards. Those were his eighth and ninth punt returns for TD of his career — which moves him into first place all time in Iowa football history (8-player or 11 player).
“The big reason he’s such a good return man is his vision,” Murray head coach Keith Shields said. “He has the ability to make a cut, and then re-accelerate as good as anyone we have ever had at Murray. And of course, Andrew would give credit to his teammates for the blocking he’s had. Knowing his name will be at the top of the Iowa record books is an amazing thing for Andrew and our program.”
The old record of eight punt returns for touchdown was held by both Tyler Peterson of Lenox (2007-09) and Marcus Mechaelsen of Northeast Hamilton (2008-11)
But, the record breaking doesn’t stop there for Rider.
Now, Rider is only three punt returns for TD shy of breaking the all-time national record, which according to Bud Legg — information director for the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) — is 11 punt returns for TD.
Rider also returned a kickoff 60 yards for a TD Friday. That’s his sixth career kickoff return for TD — which ties him for second all-time in Iowa.
Oh, if all the record-breaking mentioned above wasn’t enough, Rider also had a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown against Ankeny Christian. That was his fifth pick 6 of his career.
That, too, ties an all-time Iowa record.
Rider and the Murray Mustangs visit Grandview Park Baptist 7 p.m. Friday where he will aim to attach his name to a few more state and national records.