Big numbers have lit up football scoreboards throughout the sport’s history. From lopsided blowouts to high-scoring shootouts, it’s clear not every game can be a defensive, field position battle. Here is a look at some of the highest-scoring games in the history of the gridiron, from the pros to high school.
The NFL: A Not-So-Great Defensive Battle
On Nov. 27, 1966, the Washington Redskins and New York Giants put up 113 points in a shootout that ended in a 72-41 Washington victory. The teams combined to score 16 touchdowns, nine of which came from beyond 30 yards. The game’s only field goal came in the closing seconds of the game, when Charlie Gogolak, who had missed two kicks the previous week and had an extra point blocked earlier in the game, put the finishing touches on Washington's 31-point victory with a 23-yard chip shot. After the game, Washington’s head coach Otto Graham joked, “It was a great defensive battle.”
NCAA: A Couple Old-Fashioned Collegiate Shootouts
On Nov. 10, 2007, the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of North Texas posted 136 points in Navy’s 74-62 win. A month earlier, Boise State University and the University of Nevada, Reno also scored 136 points, but it took four overtimes for the Broncos to seal their 69-67 win.
Two weeks prior to that game, Weber State University and Portland State University set the all-time record for total points scored, with Weber State winning 73-68.
On the same day as the Navy and North Texas matchup, Hartwick College beat Utica College 72-70 in four overtimes to set the NCAA's all-division record for most points scored in a game.
The Division II record is held by North Park University and North Central College. North Park steamrolled North Central by a score of 104-32 in their 1968 match-up.
College Football: The Unofficial Record
The NCAA did not start keeping official records until 1937. Otherwise, Georgia Tech’s dismantling of Cumberland College would be hailed as the biggest blowout in college football history. Georgia Tech scored 63 points in each of the game's first two quarters on its way to a staggering 222-0 shutout. Astonishingly, neither team recorded a first down in the game, as Georgia Tech scored on one of the first three plays of every drive and Cumberland lost 28 yards in total.
High School: The Haven High Juggernaut
The 222-point tally scored by Georgia Tech falls short of what Haven High School managed to do in 1927. The Kansas powerhouse hung 256 on in-state rival Sylvia High School. Elvin McCoy scored 13 of the team’s 38 touchdowns and kicked 12 extra points, accounting for 90 points. In fairness to Sylvia, Haven outscored its other seven opponents 323-0 that year and its narrowest margin of victory was 27 points.