the end of the morning, Richardson also had spoken to ABC News, a few local TV stations, USA Today and practically every major newspaper in the state.
Fans who attended Marble Falls’ game at Boerne Champion on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, might never forget the offensive onslaught they witnessed. Richardson completed 35 of 45 passes, including seven for touchdowns, without an interception. For his part, Champion quar- terback Kyle Poeske threw for six TDs and 610 yards, a total that ranked third alltime in the annals of Texas high school football.
In the end, Marble Falls won the nondistrict thriller 62-55. Richardson scored the winning touchdown on a 3-yard run.
Five years later, he still has a hard time believing what happened.
“Near the end of the game, a teammate told me I had just broken some sort of record,” Richardson said Friday morn- ing during a break from his classes at Texas State University. “But I just brushed it off. I was too wrapped up in what was happening on the field to think about anything else.”
By the time the Mustangs had boarded their charter bus for the 78-mile ride home, word of Richardson’s achievement had spread.A game official had told Dodge about the record as the final seconds ticked off the stadium clock, and a member of the Marble Falls radio broadcast team informed various players and parents about the milestone.
No one was more surprised by the news than Richardson.
“I thought maybe I had passed for 500,” he said.
Dodge verified the record after viewing the entire game on video the next day. It confirmed that Richardson had smashed the record of 683 yards set by Dylan Sheffield of Wichita Falls in a 2011 game against Denton.
“There was no fluff to Mike’s record,” said Dodge, now in his fourth year as the head coach at Westlake. “It’s not like he was padding his stats in the fourth quarter. We needed every yard and every touchdown to win that game.”
Newcomers team up
Richardson and his family moved from Salado to Marble Falls during the summer before his senior year. His The top-10 single-game passing totals in Texas high school football, as compiled by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football: 725 712 683 665 634 622 613 610 597 595
Mike Richardson, Marble Falls Travis Quintanilla, Refugio Dylan Sheffield, Wichita Falls Jacob Frazier, Magnolia Mac Morse, Richardson Pearce Derrick Ponder, Bells McLane Carter, Salado Kyle Poeske, Boerne Champion Pat Mahomes, Whitehouse Alvaro Garcia, Laredo United transfer coincided with the school’s hiring of Dodge, who had guided Southlake Carroll to four UIL state championships from 2000 to 2006. Dodge also had been the head coach at North Texas (2007-10) and the quarterbacks coach at Pittsburgh (2011) before landing in Marble Falls.
As a high schooler, Richardson was well aware of Dodge’s reputation for developing top-flight quarterbacks. Three of his QBs at Southlake Carroll — Chase Daniel, Greg Riley and Riley Dodge, the coach’s son — were named Associated Press player of the year for Texas.
“Coach Dodge taught me my football IQ ,” Richardson said.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Richardson did not take long to adapt to Dodge’s spread offense. Marble Falls aver- aged 46 points over the first three games of the 2012 season, and Dodge recalled that Richardson surpassed 300 yards passing in two of those games.
Before his senior season, Richardson developed strength — and his work ethic — by baling hay during his summer breaks from high school. When he learned that he would be coached by Dodge during his final high school season, he figured he would blossom as a quarterback.
As for the new coach, Dodge was impressed by Richardson’s accuracy.
“Mike had done very, very well in his first few games, but you never go into a game thinking you’re going to break that kind of record,” Dodge said.
Against Champion, there were no clues that a record-setting game was lurking after the teams settled for a 7-7 first-quarter tie. Richard- son, though, turned hot in the second quarter, guiding the Mustangs to four more touchdowns before halftime. At the half, he had thrown for 400 yards.
Richardson received Boerne Champion Rogers Denton Tomball Carrollton Newman Smith Chico Lorena Marble Falls Mesquite Poteet San Antonio Reagan plenty of support through- out the game from his teammates, including junior wideout Garrett Gray, now a junior tight end for the Texas Longhorns. Gray was Richardson’s go-to receiver against the Chargers, catching 13 passes for 293 yards and five TDs.
Marble Falls junior Car- son Bowen also had a big night, grabbing nine recep- tions for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
Gray, a 6-4 basketball player, had decided to play football for the Mustangs after Dodge stopped by his home. With Gray’s height and his ability to snatch the football away from shorter defenders, he would be ideal for the coach’s pass-happy system, Dodge told him.
“My first love was basketball, and I could have been a DI player in college, but my skills translated to football,” Gray said.
Gray recalls Richardson getting “in a groove” against Champion. The Mustangs scored 13 points in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth and held off a late Champion rally.
“Everyone was getting open that night,” Gray remembered. “The whole offense, we were completely in sync.”
Champion’s offense, led by the senior Poeske, was in sync, too. Five years later, his total of 610 yards passing ranks eighth on the state’s all-time list.
Poeske and Richardson grew up as friends, and they played on the same flag foot- ball team when Richardson lived in Boerne during his middle school years.
“Looking back, it’s kind of cool to have shared that night with Mike when he set the record,” said Poeske, a Texas Tech graduate who’s a petroleum engineer in Midland.
For Poeske, falling short on the scoreboard does not diminish his memories of 2012 2013 2011 2016 2009 2015 2013 2012 2013 2006 that unforgettable game.
“After we get home, my sister (Heather) wakes me up at 2 o’clock in the morning,” Poeske recalled. “The TV was on ‘SportsCenter,’ and they had both of our names on the screen with the stats we had that night.”
For Richardson and Poeske, that magical game in Boerne represented the pinnacle of their football careers.
After high school, both joined the team at Texas Tech as walk-ons, but neither played a single down for the Red Raiders. Poeske left football behind in his sophomore year, and Richardson played for two seasons at Abilene Christian — where he shifted to wide receiver but never recorded a reception — before transferring to Texas State in 2016. He plans to graduate with a degree in business accounting in May.
As for his record-setting game in 2012, Richardson said it sometimes feels as if it happened only a few months ago.
“Something else I remember about that game is that I didn’t practice on Monday or Tuesday,” he said.
“I’d hurt my shoulder in a game the week before (against Burnet). I always knew I was going to play, but I might have been only 80-90 percent (against Champion).”
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book, Richardson’s 725-yard effort ranks third all-time in the country. Only Matt Miller of DuBois, Pa. (787 yards, 2015) and David Koral of Pacific Palisades, Calif. (764 yards, 2000) have thrown for more in a single game.
“Giving credit to coach Dodge and my teammates,” Richardson said, “this is something I’m very proud of.”