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Teams were running on fumes at the end

When Big Bear High scored in the eighth overtime, which set a state record for the longest game, and beat Desert Hot Springs, players and coaches were physically and emotionally drained.

October 15, 2011|Eric Sondheimer

Exhaustion. That was how Big Bear High Coach Dave Griffiths described his physical state after his team pulled out a 56-50 victory over host Desert Hot Springs on Friday night in a football game that lasted a state-record eight overtimes.

"It was just a phenomenal game, probably the best football game I've ever been involved in," Griffiths said. "I'm not sure how much longer the teams could have gone. After eight overtimes, the kids were worn out and the coaches too."

Lucas Jenkins ended the game with a short touchdown run in the eighth overtime period. The Desert Sun newspaper reported the game lasted nearly four hours and ended at 11:20 p.m. The previous state record for overtimes was seven, established in 1991, according to the Cal-Hi Sports record book. The national record is 12.

"Our kids rushed the field," Griffiths said. "I kind of walked on."

The game lasted so long that Big Bear was running out of water to cool off its players during timeouts.

"I was so happy I was crying," Big Bear quarterback Zakk Planz said. "Both teams played great. Being able to score touchdowns back and forth and seeing the courage and pride was amazing."

Big Bear had rallied from a 15-0 deficit, getting three third-quarter touchdowns from Planz. Regulation ended in a 22-22 deadlock.

For overtime, the ball is put at the 25-yard line and each team gets a minimum of four plays. The schools exchanged touchdowns through the first three overtimes. Desert Hot Springs missed on a 32-yard field-goal try in the fourth overtime that could have won the game.

There was no scoring in the fifth and sixth overtimes. Both teams scored in the seventh overtime. In the eighth overtime, an interception by Lane Dowty set the stage for Jenkins' winning touchdown run.

"I heard 'unbelievable' and 'greatest game I've ever seen,' " Griffiths said.

Griffiths said he got home at 2:30 a.m. Saturday and was up by 7 a.m. to drive his 12-year-old son, Ryan, on a 21/2 -hour trip to Mojave for a youth football game.

"I got some pretty good coffee," he said.

Best in Woodland Hills

Not since 1991 had Woodland Hills El Camino Real beaten neighborhood rival Taft in a football game. Running back Kawan Rally made sure the streak would end. He had 319 yards in 28 carries and scored four touchdowns in the Conquistadores' 48-7 victory.

Rally has 1,478 yards and 18 touchdowns, leading the City Section.

Alumni reaction

Thanks to Twitter, people can get immediate reaction from famous alumni during and after games.

From former Sherman Oaks Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist on the Knights' 28-26 loss to Encino Crespi: "That was honestly one of the craziest games I have ever seen. Either way, I'm proud of my school and especially my little brother."

From former Taft and USC linebacker Malcolm Smith on the Toreadors falling behind, 24-7, to El Camino Real: "Are you kidding me?"

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

twitter.com/latsondheimer

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