Andrew Rund posts record-setting performance in final game
By Shane Hulsey
Win the final game of your career? Check. Lead a game-winning drive in the final minutes? Check. Throw for almost 500 yards and set multiple records in the process? Check and check.
Quincy University senior quarterback Andrew Rund had a Senior Day to remember. Rund threw for 486 yards and four touchdowns as the Hawks defeated William Jewell, 47-42, Saturday at QU Stadium.
Rund said the game felt surreal, like it was just a figment of his imagination.
“It felt like a dream when I woke up the next day realizing everything that had happened,” he said. “You really couldn’t prepare a better script for that game.”
A one-yard touchdown run by Oscee Calhoun with 23 seconds left proved to be the game-winner, but that touchdown wouldn’t have been possible without a conversion on fourth-and-21 from the Hawks’ own 38-yard line. With 1:10 left, Rund found senior wide receiver Brandon Gaston in between four William Jewell defenders for 24 yards to keep the drive alive and eventually set up Calhoun’s touchdown run.
QU head coach Gary Bass sent a message up to the Lord before that fourth down play.
“Before the play, as a head coach, you’re sitting there thinking, ‘What could I have done differently for the game to be riding on anything other than a fourth-and-21 play?'” he said. “Right about the time we’re about to call the play and run it, I literally look up and say, ‘Please, Lord, I’m begging you. Let this work.’
“We had the right person at quarterback. I will go to my grave with that. I hate to see that his career is over, but to see the ball be in someone else’s hands in a spot like that, since I’ve been here, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That play is probably the biggest play we’ve had in my three seasons as head coach.”
With 2:35 left, William Jewell concluded a 10-play, 81-yard drive with a touchdown on fourth-and-goal to take a 42-41 lead.
Bass said there was no panic from the Hawks’ sideline after that touchdown.
“I looked over at our sideline, and not one person batted an eye,” he said. “No one put their head down. It was literally like, ‘Let’s go score and win us a ballgame.’ It was really, really cool to see how our guys came together at the end to send our seniors out the right way.”
On the Hawks’ second possession of the game, Rund delivered a 22-yard strike to senior Carlton Stamp to break the QU single-season passing record. Robbie Kelley set the previous record of 2,701 yards in 2016.
Rund also set school records for most completions (258) and attempts (463) in a season and finished the season with 3,151 passing yards. His 486 yards on Saturday also set a new school single-game record.
In 2016, Rund’s freshman season and Bass’s final season as QU offensive coordinator, the Hawks used Rund as a sort of “human battering ram,” “Tim Tebow 2.0,” as Bass put it.
“I always worried we were going to ruin his money-maker, which is his smile and his good looks,” he said with a chuckle.
Rund didn’t shy away from any role Bass or anyone pushed him into.
“He took to what we asked him to do, and I knew then he was a special young man,” Bass said. “The leader he’s become in the last 12 to 18 months has just been absolutely unreal. When you have a young man who people will literally follow to the ends of the earth, you’ve got a chance to be successful.
“The way he’s carried himself, the type of character he has, and just the type of man he is, it’s pretty surreal as a head coach.”
Saturday not only marked the end of Rund’s football career. It also signaled the end of an era for the Rund family.
“I’m the youngest of four siblings, so that game marked the end of all sports for my family,” Rund said. “It was awesome to go out on a high note.”
It was the perfect ending. A fairy-tale ending, even.
“You could not write a better storybook ending for him, what he’s going to be remembered for, and the things that he’s done here,” Bass said. “He will be sorely missed.”