Four years. That's how long Thomas Jefferson (Texas) High School's football team went without a victory. Put it this way: The last time the team saw a "W" in the win column, the Indianapolis Colts were still Super Bowl champions. Losing 36 games in a row is difficult for any coach to swallow. You almost become accustomed to losing after a while, and sooner or later, start to wonder if you'll ever win a game.
But all streaks eventually come to an end and on Saturday afternoon, Thomas Jefferson snapped the incredible 36-game losing skid with a dramatic 19-16 come-from-behind victory against Fort Worth Diamond Hill-Jarvis (Texas) High School.
"They've been through a lot,'' Thomas Jefferson head coach David Haynes told the Dallas Morning News. "We told them the only reason we won was because they kept fighting. What I like about these kids is they give you all they have to give. To see them rewarded, well, that's why I got into coaching.''
As the Dallas Morning News reported, Thomas Jefferson had been outscored, 181-0 in its first three games this season. The team was also coming off a 72-0 drubbing that saw the opposition score on every possession -- an almost unfathomable feat for any team to accomplish.
But something changed in the days between the humbling defeat and the game against Diamond Hill-Jarvis. Following a defensive battle for the first three quarters, Thomas Jefferson took a narrow 7-0 lead into the fourth.
That's where the fireworks started. After Diamond Hill-Jarvis scored just 30 seconds into to fourth to take an 8-7 lead, Thomas Jefferson responded with 65-yard touchdown to retake the lead. But the scoring wasn't done, as Jarvis scored on a 68-yard run to take the lead back with less than three minutes remaining in the game.
With the streak on the line and just a couple minutes left on the clock, Thomas Jefferson quarterback Jose Balderas drove the team down the field, scoring from 1 yard out with 26 seconds left for the dramatic win. The game produced an astounding four lead changes in the final quarter.
"We don't talk about the streak because every game that we play, we expect to do good, and we expect to win," Haynes told NBC DFW.
While the win was an incredible end to a nasty losing streak, the victory had extra meaning because it came against Jarvis, a team that was trying to break a nine-game losing streak of its own.
"We had some fun with them this morning watching film,'' Haynes told the Dallas Morning News. "They really enjoyed seeing themselves making positive plays. I told them to enjoy what you did last night for a day, but next week you've got to get ready for a strong Bryan Adams team.''