Texans have long claimed to doing everything bigger and better than anyone else. And in the case of fantastic finishes in prep football, few could argue after last Saturday's wild playoff contest between Plano East and Tyler John Tyler high schools.
Even the mythical "itsy, bitsy spider" never had such a wild ride.Trailing 41-17 with 3:03 left to play, Plano East stormed back to take a three point lead with 11 seconds remaining. However, it wasn't enough as Tyler John Tyler answered the call by returning a kickoff 97 yards for the winning score.
The phenomenal finish featured:
- 51 fourth quarter points.
- 48 points in the final 4:24.
- 34 points in the final 2:33.
- No offensive plays by Tyler John Tyler in the last five minutes.
- One Plano East timeout during the 27-point rally.
- Just the second kickoff return for a touchdown Plano East allowed all season long.
Though "unique" by national standards, Texas doesn't own the market on crazy finishes. Author George Felt, who penned the popular "A Century of Utah High School Football" book, notes that the Beehive State has had its share of wild finishes.
Case in point:
- Oct. 15, 1959: Trailing 26-20 on the game's final play, East Carbon threw a "Hail Mary" pass into the waiting arms of a San Juan defender. Without hesitation the home-team timekeeper sounded the horn and the player celebrated by throwing the ball into the air.
One problem. He never downed the ball.
While the San Juan crowd celebrated an apparent victory, an East Carbon defender scooped up the ball and raced into the end zone. After tying the score, the Vikings added the extra point without any defense - upset by the wild ending, San Juan stormed off the field in protest.
- Nov. 1, 1967: Trailing 13-0 midway the fourth quarter, Dugway rallied past Morgan with a late scoring spree. A 32-yard touchdown run and an intercepted lateral pass on the ensuing kickoff knotted the score at 13-all. A blocked punt led to the winning score minutes later.
In less than two minutes, victorious Dugway scored 20 unanswered points on just eight plays.
- 1969 State Championship Game: Termed by Felt as "one of the most exciting title games in Utah prep history," Class AA finalists Skyline and Layton each experienced the so-called "thrill of victory and agony of defeat." Leading 13-0 entering the fourth quarter, the Eagles watched in horror as the Lancers fought back to take a one-point lead with 49 seconds remaining.
Down, but not out, the Eagles turned the tables 11 seconds later. On first down, sophomore Dave Barton took a screen pass 68 yards, eluding three tacklers, into the end zone to give Skyline the championship.
RIM RANKINGS: Just two teams fell from the perch of the DesNews high school basketball rankings this week (see page D1). Alta (5A), Timpview (4A), Cedar City (3A) and Beaver (2A) welcome new leader Enterprise (1A) to the boys ranks, while Bingham (5A), Sky View (4A), Hurricane (3A) and Valley (1A) are joined by South Summit (2A) atop the girls' sampling.
WOW STATS: The rims were rocking in Altamont Friday night. Two players posted big nights in Green River's 79-60 victory over the Longhorns. Justin Carter scored 37 points for the Pirates, while Jim Casper of Altamont finished with 21 rebounds and 18 points.
NAME GAME: Copper Hills, the new Salt Lake County high school slated to open next fall, has chosen colors and a nickname. Students voted to become "Grizzlies" with navy blue, forest green and silver as school colors.
JUNIOR HEISMAN: Salt Lake Lutheran High athlete John Moerer, who excels in basketball, baseball and track, will fly to New York City for Friday night's High School Heisman award presentation at the famed Downtown Athletic Club. He is one of six finalists for the national award. Students are honored on the basis of academics, athletics and community service.