Two Indiana teams put on potentially greatest offensive show in prep football history

Ben Rohrbach
September 4, 2013
Indianapolis high school football rivals Perry Meridian and Decatur Central combined for 161 points -- Twitter
Indianapolis high school football rivals Perry Meridian and Decatur Central combined for 161 points -- Twitter

If two football teams score 161 combined points and nobody covers it, did it happen?

Yes. Yes, it most certainly did. In the age of social media and immediate consumption, the greatest offensive game ever played by two prep football teams slipped under the radar.

On Friday night, Indianapolis high school rivals Perry Meridian and Decatur Central combined for 161 points and 1,703 total yards in a regulation game (h/t USA Today).

Decatur Central owned the edge in total yardage, 875-828, but Perry Meridian came out on top where it mattered most as the scoreboard read 83-78 when the clock struck 0:00.

Central and Meridian now respectively rank fourth and ninth all-time nationally for most single-game yards gained, according to the National Federation of High Schools records. Bay St. Louis (Mo.) St. Stanislaus High set the national record of 937 last year.

"It was definitely a perfect storm," Perry Meridian coach Scott Marsh told the Indianapolis Star. "Both offenses are obviously really good, and probably played to the weaknesses of both defenses. The heat was also a factor because we had some two-way guys that could only play one side or the other and the tempo was fast.

"But it wasn't like there was a bunch of turnovers and cheap scores," Marsh added. "It was really good offensive execution by both teams."

As the Indianapolis Star noted, Central beat Meridian 71-67 last season -- in basketball.

Meridian senior quarterback Conner Smith and Central junior QB Tommy Stevens combined for almost 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. And Meridian senior running back rushed for 301 yards and three scores on 21 carries. All in the same game, mind you.

Even better, neither team ever led by more than a single score, Central owned a 36-35 at halftime and Meridian scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:14 left, the game story said. Decatur Central has now scored 128 points in its first two games and started 0-2 this season, also losing to crosstown rival Franklin Central 58-50 in Week 1.

"Both sides have dynamic quarterbacks, so people expected a shootout," Decatur Central coach Justin Dixson told the Indianapolis Star. "But probably not 83-78. I think it hurts if you lose 83-78 or 15-10. You have to evaluate what’s working and try to get the right guys on the field. You can’t get wrapped up in the score."

Somehow, neither team approached Indiana's state single-game record of 156 points by one team, set by Linton (Ind.) High in 1924, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Yup, this game happened. The defensive coordinators just wish it hadn't.

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