The largest comeback in major college football history took place back in 2006 in a game featuring Michigan State and Northwestern. Down 38-3 with just under 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Michigan State mounted a miraculous comeback and scored 38 unanswered points to win 41-38 at the final horn.
If you remember that, or think that’s impressive, a high school team located just southwest of Chicago completed one even more impressive in the state’s opening week of high school football.
According to the recap provided by The Telegraph, Naperville North HS (IL) took on Edwardsville (IL) late last week, and fell into a 42-0 hole in the second quarter. Illinois state mercy rules started to kick in, and Edwardsville enjoyed a running clock for a little while…until Naperville North starting efficiently throwing the ball around, first cutting the lead to 49-14 before rattling off six-straight unanswered scores (including two from special teams units) to leave everyone in attendance speechless.
Fittingly, their last score came on the last drive of the game to give them the lead, and the 53-49 win.
Down 0-42 NNHS comes back to win! Great job players, coaches and fans to persevere. pic.twitter.com/xapATiIM6D
— John Fiore (@JohnFiore2) August 27, 2017
Most people will read this and wonder “What did those coaches say to the kids at halftime to spark such an inspired second half effort?” I reached out to Naperville North offensive coordinator Mike Fitzgerald to ask what he and his staff’s message was to the kids throughout the game, and here’s part of what he shared.
“Basically our message was to not look at the scoreboard and just win the play. We also related it to life that there are going to be challenging times in their lives and they can either point the finger, make excuses, and be a victim or they can own it, stay positive, and turn adversity into opportunity.”
“Our attitude and body language was horrible in the first half and so we said the next half starts with a change in attitude. We can’t control the current circumstances but we can control our attitude.”
“We left them with the idea that adversity reveals true character and this is a great opportunity to see who we truly are after this half. That was basically the main message from the coaches.”
This hype video put together by a student before the game is also worth pointing out. This is pretty high quality stuff.
Naperville North Football Hype Video 2017-2018 pic.twitter.com/JOhJy2t3HB
— Mike Rapsys (@mikeyrapsys) August 25, 2017
To read more on the game, including some of the ridiculous video-game like stats that were put up, head here.