Overtime

Paging through my state record book ( State Records (wifca.org) ) I stopped at a spot that I hadn’t really explored…Longest overtime game. Wisconsin has had two six-quarter overtime games but more on these two games later. The national record is an incredible 12-quarters! The National federation of State High School Associations has a listing besides the afore mentioned 12-quarter game of the following:

  • Two teams with a nine-quarter overtime game, three games with eight overtime periods and 10 games with seven OT quarters.

  • Two teams also played four consecutive games of overtime ball.

  • Three teams had five OT games in a single season and surprisingly, none of those teams were part of the four consecutive overtime events.

With two six-quarter overtime games in Wisconsin history, we are low on the totem pole when it comes to these types of games. But the 12-quarter game is very interesting.


Back on October 29, 2010 the Jacksonville (TX) Dragons beat the Nacogdoches (TX) Fightin’ Indians 84-81. Tied playoff spot 28-28 at the end regulation the game took 12-quarters and it lasted over five hours. They traded touchdowns but the interesting thing is that Nacogdoches didn’t want to just win. At least an outright win. You see they were both fighting for a playoff spot. Back in 1969 in Wisconsin, point spreads were part of the consideration for the WISSA to place teams into the first state playoff brackets. Nacogdoches needed to win by eight points to make the post season and Jacksonville just needed to win. So, the Dragons depended on the defense to stop Jacksonville. In the end, each team scored 12 touchdowns and nine extra points. Nacogdoches failed to score in the top of the 12th and they held the Fightin’ Indians out of the endzone before they kicked a19-yard field goal to win. The game started at 7:30 pm and ended at 12:58 am. The two teams combined for 60 first downs and totaled over 1,000 yards.


A blog on ESPN had sort of a funny take on the game and overtime games in general. Check it out at: 12 Overtimes To Settle A Football Game? See You Tomorrow! - SportsCenter.com- ESPN.

You can see the winning game on You Tube at: 12 OT High School Football Game, National Record, 165 points - YouTube


Now, on to the two Wisconsin overtime games. First is the October 9, 1981 game between La Farge and Wauzeka in a Friday afternoon matchup in the Ridge & Valley Conference rivals. In truth there is little about the game but here is what I found:


From the Wisconsin State Journal…”If high school football players received overtime pay for competing, those from Wauzeka and La Farge would be hiring stockbrokers. The reason? Wauzeka’s 32-30 victory over La Farge Friday’s afternoon—in six overtimes. Allen McCarthy swept three yards for a two-point conversion after running nine yards for a touchdown in the sixth overtime to provide Wauzeka with the winning margin in the two teams Rudge & Valley Conference marathon, which lasted 2 hours and 25 minutes. La Farge, so to speak, exhausted its opportunity to win moments later when the Hornets’ John Krieg intercepted a La Farge pass for a conversion after Mike Donovan had scored on a three-yard touchdown run.”


That’s it. That’s all that the Journal wrote. Looking at the box score the game was tied 6-6 in regulation. Wauzeka gained only five first downs and gained a total of 183 yards. La Farge had even less. Only three first downs but was able to pick up 194 yards. The difference was La Farge had three passes intercepted and fumbled eight times, losing five.


The La Crosse Tribune had even less to say. “In the other conference game (after reporting on a few other teams), Wauzeka nipped La Farge, 32-30, in six over times.” Not much but there you have the recap.


Well, next up is the other six overtime game…Waukesha South 12, West Bend East 6 played on September 5, 2008. The two battled to a 6-6 standstill at the end of regulation. The field was wet and muddy. The rain made it hard for each team to hold onto the ball. Running a spread offense, East had about a dozen snaps from center skip to the quarterback although none of those led to a fumble. It was the ground game, or the lack of it that led to the teams five fumbles as they lost three. The Waukesha South Blackshirts gained only 175 yards on the ground on 67 attempts and picked up a measly eight yards in the air. The West Bend East Sun’s picked up 82 yards rushing and 53 yards passing.


On the game’s opening drive the Sun’s drove to South's two-yard line where quarterback Nick Makowski tossed deep into the endzone but Mile O’Connell intercepted. South scored first in the second quarter on a second O’Connell pick when he returned a 25-yards interception of a Makowski screen pass. Makowski in turn scored on an 11-yard run, also in the second period. Both teams missed on their extra-point kicks.


Unlike the overtime rules of the past the new set-up was just like the new college regulations where the ball was set on the 25-yard line making it harder for the two teams to get across the goal line. Previously the teams started on the 10 and teams had four downs to score. East missed a 40-yard field goal as regulation expired. South's best chance to win the game came in the third quarter of regulation when they drove to East’s two-yard line but they fumbled the ball away. The Sun’s had their best chance to win also in the third OT period when they had a first and goal on the Blackshirt's two-yard line but events led them try a 27-yard field goal which missed. In the top of the sixth overtime period South’s back Dylan Graff ran in from the one-yard line. The extra-point run failed. Graff had over 30 carries in the game and 70+ yards rushing.


The Sun’s couldn’t muster a drive in their part of the sixth and the Blackshirts prevailed. West Bend East dropped to 0-2 on the season and ended up with a 5-6 and made it to Level 2 of the playoffs. Sadly, Waukesha South’s season went downhill from there and they finished 2-7. But they both have a place in the record book.