Commentary

High scores, prolific siblings top '08 season

Updated: December 30, 2008, 11:02 AM ET
By Doug Huff and Mark Tennis | ESPNRISE.com

Every high school football season produces numerous memorable, and forgettable, moments.

For these unusual, unique or otherwise bizarre happenings -- both on and off the gridiron -- we have a special "Studs 'n' Duds" category.

Here are some that caught our attention in 2008. Studs or duds? You decide. Check out part one of this feature here.

Making his Mauk

No high school player in history has passed for more yards in a career or season than Ben Mauk of Kenton, Ohio. From 1999 to 2002, Mauk shattered all national marks with 17,364 aerial yards and produced the two most prolific seasons in history -- 6,540 yards as a senior after passing for 5,770 yards as a junior. But the former Wake Forest and University of Cincinnati quarterback may have a rival for his stature in the record books -- his brother, Maty Mauk. The younger Mauk just completed his freshman season at Kenton High School and registered some eye-opening statistics of his own. He averaged 330.9 passing yards per game for 10 starts while completing 248 of 400 aerials with 36 touchdowns and playing for father-coach Mike Mauk. Watch out, Ben, your younger brother is just getting warmed up.

Best halftime coaching adjustment

A wild eight-man football game in Nevada proved the old adage that "you can't score without the ball." Coleville (Calif.) High scored on its first nine possessions but still lost the Class 1A state semifinal scorefest by 54 points in a 128-74 one-for-the-books win for Pahranagat Valley. The 128 points and 17 touchdowns for Pahranagat Valley set reported national eight-man records. The Panthers led Coleville 62-52 at halftime but changed their strategy in the third quarter to keep the ball away from the Wolves. Instead of kicking off after scoring, Pahranagat Valley coach Ken Higbee went to onside kicks. His team then recovered five of six onside kickoffs in the third quarter and outscored Coleville 44-8 in the period. Because neither team could stop the other from scoring, the keep-away strategy worked.

Bad fax transmission of the year

This goes to whoever at the California Interscholastic Federation San Diego section office did not receive a fax from Cathedral Catholic coach Sean Doyle regarding his desire for his team to move to Division II instead of Division III. If Doyle's fax had been received, the Dons would have been in the same division as Oceanside. As it turned out, both teams were unbeaten and won section titles, but Cathedral Catholic was chosen to play in the CIF Division II state bowl game. If that fax had gone through, the dynamics of the entire season in the San Diego section would have been different.

Will these teams ever lose?

High school teams in Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio haven't tasted defeat in regular-season contests for six or more years. Will 2009 be the year that these long streaks end? North Shore High School, located in Galena Park on the east side of Houston, last lost a regular season game in November 2000. This past season, the Mustangs set a state record by extending the run to 78 games. Teams in Mississippi and Tennessee had the nation's two longest overall streaks halted in state championship games but will take the nation's second- and third-longest regular-season runs into 2009. South Panola of Batesville, Miss., had its 89-game overall streak snapped by Meridian in the Class 5A title game while Maryville, Tenn., had its 74-game streak ended by Hillsboro in the Class 4A state final. But South Panola will enter 2009 with a 77-game regular-season streak, while Maryville has won its past 76 regular-season games. In Ohio, Steubenville will enter next season with a 60-game regular-season win streak. The nation's two longest, active overall win streaks belong to Smith Center, Kan., at 67, and Wayne Hills, N.J., at 52 wins in a row.

Minnesota teams are 0-for-Rockhurst

When Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) High School calls about scheduling a game, maybe teams from Minnesota should say "thanks, but no thanks." That's because the Hawklets have played eight Minnesota teams since 1994 and whipped them all. The latest was this past season when Rockhurst, or maybe it's Rockhurts, rocked Minnetonka, 38-7. The previous Minnesota victims were Rosemount in 1994 and 1995; White Bear Lake in 2000, Minnetonka Hopkins in 2001, Edina in 2002, Becker in 2006 and Minnetonka the past two seasons. And, yes, Rockhurst and Minnetonka are scheduled to play again in 2009.

Best varsity debut as a starter

Sophomore Austin Ebertowski was making his first football start for Abraham Lincoln High of Council Bluffs, Iowa, against Sioux City West because of an injury to tailback Dustin Davis. And what a start he had to lead Lincoln in a wild, 56-42 shootout victory. Ebertowski not only scored three touchdowns with a fourth nullified by penalty but also rushed 41 times for a reported 451 yards -- second-best in state 11-man history. He just missed breaking the state record of 455 yards set in 1954 by Don Larson of Alden.

Best player who could be carrying a stick

There haven't been many athletes quite as versatile as Joe Glendening of East Grand Rapids, Mich. Glendening capped his football career at East Grand Rapids with 175 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 43-24 win over Inkster in the Division 3 state final. He also ended the season with 2,598 yards and 40 touchdowns. Combined with his academic and community service activities, Glendening has been named Michigan's Gatorade State Player of the Year in football. But carrying a football may not even be what Glendening does best. In addition to being all-state in football, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior also has received All-American recognition in both hockey and lacrosse.

Worst case of roughing the kicker

We have to give this one to Pocatello (Idaho) High. The team was facing archrival Highland High in the annual Black and Blue Bowl, and part of its game plan to stop Stanford-bound Highland quarterback Taysom Hill was to try to clock him on kickoffs. Hill also happens to be Highland's kicker, and a video replay seen thousands of times on YouTube shows a Pocatello High player making a beeline straight to Hill on those kickoffs and plowing into him. Pocatello head coach Tom Harrison said he didn't order any of his players to go out there to hurt Hill, but he was put on administrative leave for a few days after the game. Hill later led Highland to the state title with 302 yards of passing and rushing in a 28-7 win over Eagle.

Mark Tennis is the deputy sports editor of ESPN RISE. Doug Huff is a senior editor of ESPN RISE.

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