Arkansas can not only brag for being part of the longest NCAA football games, but that they won both times.
They say everything is bigger in Texas, but this is as big as it gets. Some might call it the greatest game ever played. Other would call it the game that simply would not end. Whatever you choose to call it, one thing is certain: it's the longest high school football game in recorded history. After four quarters, 12 overtimes, 5 and a half hours and 165 points, Jacksonville High School defeated the home Nacogdoches High School in a game that started at 7:30pm and ended just before 1am. Even by college and pro standards, that's an insanely long game. Here's the proof:
It seems Arkansas has a knack for participating in the longest college football games -- and winning them, as well. In 2001, the Razorbacks beat Ole Miss 58-56 after seven overtimes and went on to play another game of the same length against Kentucky in 2003, winning 71-68. Now, our expertise is much more in sports than math, but that's still five extra frames short of the Jacksonville/Nacogdoches game.
Since it's a different overtime format than college and high school, there's not really much comparison here. However, the Christmas Day game in 1971 between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs still remains the longest in NFL history. After a back and forth game that went almost halfway into the second OT, the Dolphins kicked a field goal and won, 27-24. That said, the almost 23 minutes-worth of extra play seems like a chocolate chip to the high school game's triple-layer, double-fudge cake (with extra frosting).
Since they started using the shot clock (also called the "Modern Era," if you like fancy-talk), the longest game ever took place just last year in March of 2009. After six overtimes, Syracuse finally ended the game by beating UConn 127-117. It's worth noting that the game ended past midnight, much like the endless high school football game did, and the fact that more points were scored here (duh -- it's basketball). That's 3 hours, 46 minutes of college hoops, a game so grueling Jonny Flynn was begging for mercy. "I just wanted to get the game over with," he said. "I was thinking, 'Lord, just get this game over with. Whoever wins the game, let's just get it over with.'"
Hop in that time machine, Marty McFly, because we're going back to 1951 for this one. In yet another six overtime game, the Indianapolis Olympians defeated the Rochester Royals by a score of 75-73. The thing that stands out to us is the fact that the game was so low-scoring. Also, the fact that the teams were called the "Olympians" and "Royals" gave us a good laugh.
Still got that time machine? Good, because now we're in 1936. It's time for six overtimes again, this time on the ice in a battle between the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Maroons. Finally, after over 116 minutes, the Red Wings scored and won the game. The best part? It was the game's only goal.
So, there you go, Jacksonville and Nacogdoches. Your teams go down in history as the longest North American game that we can possibly find at any level. You can even bypass the longest MLB game, which was 26 innings between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves, because that game ended in a tie (due to darkness ... it was 1920). Luckily, high school games aren't played on Sunday like in the NFL, so there was a day to rest before the next school day.