Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - SPORTS -

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.

Foot­ball pin­na­cle

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.”

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