It’s safe to say that last Thursday’s 80-75 win by Owensville (Mo.) over St. James (Mo.) is one of the wildest in U.S. high school football history.
Jason Kottwitz plunged into the end zone with 16.2 seconds left to give his visiting team from Owensville (Owensville, Mo.) the win. It was the sixth lead change between the two teams in the fourth quarter alone.
In almost all cases of a score like 80-75, overtime tie-breakers are involved, such as last year when Jacksonville (Texas) topped Nacogdoches (Texes) 84-81 in a national record 12 overtimes.
This was no overtime game, however, as the Dutchmen and Tigers simply flew up and down the field against each other on a field not too far from the site of where Dorial Green-Beckham of Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.) set a new national record for career receiving yards on the same night.
According to our own ESPNHS national record lists, the 75 points in a loss by St. James breaks the previous record of 74 set in 2002 when Eastland (Pearl City, Ill.) lost 78-74 in regulation play to Aquin Catholic (Freeport, Ill.). The 155 combined points for both teams is a new Missouri record, but doesn’t come close nationally to the one-team routs such as 256-0, 240-0 and 233-0.
The difference in the game wasn’t just that Owensville had the ball last. The Dutchmen also were successful on two-point conversions after their first four touchdowns and on six of their first seven. Both teams, in fact, scored the same number of touchdowns.
With senior quarterback Jake Harlan leading the way, St. James racked up 825 yards of total offense. Kottwitz, a senior, and senior quarterback Shawnee Wright led Owensville to 773 yards. There is no record total list in either the National Federation or ESPNHS lists for most yards of total offense for two teams, but the combined total of 1,598 yards for these two could be it. As a comparison, the California record is more than 300 yards less.
Harlan, the son of St. James coach Greg Harlan, set Missouri records for total offense yards and touchdowns accounted for. He passed for 352 yards and five touchdowns, rushed for 280 yards and four scores, and caught a 76-yard touchdown pass off of a reverse pass from teammate Justin Lineback.
Kottwitz piled up 337 yards on 26 carries for Owensville and scored four times. Wright rushed 14 times for 182 yards and three TDs and also completed 6-of-12 passes for 186 yards and three scores.
The game began when Harlan ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back for penalty. After a start like that, who knew what was about to happen?
St. James ended a 3-7 season after the defeat. Owensville improved to 5-5 and opens the Missouri Class 3 state playoffs this week against Boonville.