October 30, 2010

Texas teams play 12-overtime thriller

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Jacksonville and Nacogdoches high schools played the game of the night Friday in East Texas.

Actually, they may have played two games.

The schools set a national record by playing a 12-overtime thriller before Jacksonville prevailed, 84-81, in a game that lasted more than five hours.

Both teams needed victories to keep their playoff hopes alive. And that was the key. While Jacksonville just needed to win to get into the playoffs, Nacogdoches needed to win by eight points to maintain its chances. Because of it, Nacogdoches often intentionally kept the game going.

Teams trade possessions at the 25 in overtime - and must go for a two-point conversion after a score in third overtime and beyond. This rule was put in place to prevent long games. Friday night, however, it had the opposite effect.

If Nacogdoches had the second possession of the overtime and scored a TD to tie the game, it would intentionally throw the ball out of the end zone to force another overtime session - you see, a two-point win on a conversion wouldn't be enough. Nacogdoches needed to keep Jacksonville off the scoreboard completely, then score and get the conversion.

Its plan - the right call by the coaches - kept the game going. But it was foiled in overtime number 12 when Nacogdoches turned the ball over on a fumble.

Jacksonville, just needing a victory, then kicked a field goal to end the longest game in history - one where the overtime alone took more than two hours to play.

Nacogdoches is now eliminated from playoff contention, and will finish its season next weekend. Of course, it will have no problem saying it already got to play an extra game.

For more on this game and Texas high school football, visit TheOldCoach.com.


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