Wildest game in state history? Final score says it all

Posted on October 19, 2012 by

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Tulare’s Bob Matthias was featured on the cover of one our state record books. Bob Matthias Stadium on Thursday night was site of state record-breaking football game between Tulare and Porterville.

Porterville and Tulare roll up and down the field on Thursday night at Bob Matthias Stadium. The halftime score was 56-50. Go inside for final score and to see which three state records were broken.

(Thanks to Rich DeGive of Hanford Sentinel for the heads up on this game. Thanks also to Andrew Bettencourt of the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register. We have used facts from his story on this game as well as from the Fresno Bee. This story also was updated to include a third state record category after initial version only mentioned two.)

There probably wasn’t anyone holding up one of those D-Fence signs during Thursday night’s East Yosemite League football game between host Tulare and visiting Porterville at Bob Matthias Stadium.

Under coach Darren Bennett, Tulare has been well-known in the CIF Central Section for its prolific offense for many years but on this night the Redskins and Panthers took prolific to a new level.

In the highest scoring game in state history (according to our own Cal-Hi Sports record book), Porterville emerged victorious 86-79.

The final three minutes were as frenetic as the first 45.

Trailing 79-78, Porterville faced a 3rd-and-16 from its own 7-yard line. That’s when quarterback Dennis Chester completed a screen pass to teammate Juan Cordova, who took the play all the way to the Tulare 30 for a 63-yard gain.

With 51 seconds left, after one play in which Cordova purposefully dropped to the ground at the 2-yard line to kill more of the clock, the Panthers took lead on Cordova’s 2-yard run. They then added two more points for an 86-79 score.

Tulare, obviously, was not done, but with little time and no time outs could only set up for a Hail Mary pass into the end zone, hoping that 6-foot-6 Keonta Vernon might be able to come down with it. Although quarterback Oscar Reyes made a strong throw and Vernon did reportedly get fingertips on the ball, it fell incomplete.

Too bad. For a game like that, a touchdown and PAT would have made it 86-86 and could have given the teams a shot at both scoring 100 points with overtimes.

The combined two-team scoring total of 165 shattered the previous all-time state best of 144 set in 1994 when Bloomington defeated Artesia of Lakewood 82-62 in a CIF Southern Section divisional championship.

The combined two-team total offense yards also set a new state record. The previous best was 1,295 when quarterbacks Matt Barkley (now starring at USC) and Matt Scott (now starring at Arizona) directed their teams at Mater Dei of Santa Ana and Centennial of Corona in a 2007 contest that Mater Dei won 51-37.

In this game, Porterville racked up 715 yards while Tulare had 616 for a two-team total of 1,331.

A third state record to fall goes to Tulare in the unfortunate category of most points scored by a losing team. Artesia’s 62 points in that loss to Bloomington was the record for many years, but it was tied last season by Bear Creek of Stockton in a 63-62 loss to Tracy.

As in the Mater Dei-Centennial game, quarterbacks took center stage. Reyes, who has moved to No. 2 in CIF Central Section history for career passing yards with more than 8,000, hit on 31 of 48 for Tulare for 447 yards and seven touchdowns. Chester finished with 476 yards and had five scores.

Cordova’s running was equally effective for the Panthers. He finished with 37 carries for 203 yards and five scores.

Here are the updated Cal-Hi Sports state record book categories after this game:

Most Points Two Teams (One Game)
165 – Porterville (86) vs. Tulare (79), 2012
144 – Bloomington (82) vs. Lakewood Artesia (62), 1994
141 – Santa Rosa (141) vs. St. Helena (0), 1924
138 – Atwater Buhach Colony (90) vs. Merced Golden Valley (48), 2011
137 – San Diego (130) vs. San Diego Army-Navy (7), 1920
136 – Inglewood (136) vs. Los Angeles Military Academy (0), 1913
136 – Inglewood (136) vs. San Fernando (0), 1914
136 – San Jose Leland (82) vs. Piedmont Hills (54), 2008
136 – Vintage Napa (80) vs. Fairfield Armijo (56), 2009
135 – Mariposa (77) vs. Denair (56), 2010
134 – Cerritos Valley Christian (70) vs. Sierra Madre Maranatha (64), 2010 (3 OTs)
Eight-Man Football:
202 – Pahranagut Valley, Nev. (128) vs. Coleville (74), 2008
150 – Coleville (96) vs. Smith Valley, Nev. (54), 2008
158 – Smith Valley, Nev. (82) vs. Big Pine (76), 1989
144 – Borrego (92) vs. San Diego Jewish Academy (52), 2004
142 – Big Pine (72) vs. Coleville (70), 2000
142 – Huntington Beach Liberty Christian (72) vs. Fullerton Eastside Christian (70), 2002 (2 OTs)
140 – Las Vegas Mt. View Christian (82) vs. Independence Owens Valley (58), 1999
Six-Man Football:
140 – Hollywood Black-Foxe (94) vs. Cuyama Valley (46), 1966

Most Yards Total Offense (Two Teams, One Game)
1,331 – Porterville (86) vs. Tulare (79), 2012 (715 yds by Porterville)
1,295 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (51) vs. Corona Centennial (37), 2007 (684 yds by Centennial)
1,281 – Los Banos (63) vs. Manteca (40), 1999 (728 yds by Los Banos)
1,241 – Los Angeles Jordan (62) vs. South Gate (27), 2005 (901 yds by Jordan)
1,237 – Canoga Park (55) vs. Sun Valley Poly (42), 2006 (952 yards passing, 285 yards rushing)
1,233 – Agoura Hills Agoura (52) vs. Newbury Park (49), 2002 (663 yds by Newbury Park)
1,227 – Watsonville (60) vs. North Salinas (50), 2012 (722 yds by Watsonville)
1,192 – El Cerrito (58) vs. Richmond De Anza (52), 1999 (607 yds by El Cerrito)
1,187 – Dunsmuir (58) vs. Bieber Big Valley (38), 1983 (632 yds by Dunsmuir)
1,181 – Redding Shasta (50) vs. Susanville Lassen (26), 1952 (758 yds by Shasta)

Most Points by Losing Team (Regular Length Games)
79 – Tulare vs. Porterville (86), 2012
62 – Lakewood Artesia vs. Bloomington (82), 1994
62 – Stockton Bear Creek vs. Tracy (63), 2011
60 – Stockton Brookside Christian vs. San Andreas Sierra Ridge/Rite of Passion (62), 2011
56 – Lancaster Paraclete vs. Bakersfield Garces (62), 1999
56 – Denair vs. Mariposa (77), 2010
56 – Fairfield Armijo vs. Napa Vintage (80), 2010
56 – Orangevale Casa Roble vs. Roseville Woodcreek (70), 2011
56 – Ojai Nordhoff vs. Oxnard Pacifica (62), 2011
56 – Modesto Beyer vs. Napa (63), 2011
Six-Man Football:
64 – La Canada Flintridge vs. Paramount Brethren (65), 1971
64 – Arcadia Rio Hondo vs. Paramount Brethren (72), 1972
Eight-Man Football:
76 – Big Pine vs. Smith Valley, Nevada (82), 1989
74 – Coleville vs. Pahranagut Valley, Nev. (128), 2008
70 – Coleville vs. Big Pine (72), 2000
60 – Lancaster Bethel Christian vs. La Verne Calvary Baptist (64), 2000
Tie-Breaker Overtime Games:
65 – Yucca Valley vs. Riverside Notre Dame (66), 2005 (3 OTs) Regulation score was 48-48.
64 – Sierra Madre Maranatha vs. Cerritos Valley Christian (70), 2010 (3 OTs)
62 – Palm Springs vs. Perris (70), 1991 (7 OTs) Regulation score was 28-28.
60 – Culver City vs. Inglewood (66), 2010 (3 OTs)
Tie-Breaker Overtime Games (8-man):
70 – Fullerton Eastside Christian vs. Huntington Beach Liberty Christian (72), 2002 (2 OTs)

Comments or corrections? Email markjtennis@gmail.com.