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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Football Ties

Ties in football have become a thing of the past . Seattle's recent 6-6 score against Arizona being the first tie in the Seahawks'  history.

It didn’t used to be that way. In high school football, ties were sometimes the end result of a game nearly as often as a win or loss. In rare occasions, such as Lewis and Clark in 1933, even more so, as the Tigers finished that season at 2-2-4.

Rogers won the league title in 1950, losing none, but having two ties. The Pirate record that year was 5-1-3. Weather often played a role, as rain, mud, snow and ice could sometimes flummox the offense for both teams into a 0-0 final.

In 1961, North Central finished at 4-3-3, while Gonzaga Prep ended up with a 4-4-2 record. As the seasons progressed, ties happened less and less, but still were a feature in league play long after the Greater Spokane League began in 1976.

Spokane schools first experienced tie breakers when state football playoffs began in 1974. Lewis and Clark was the first school to be involved, losing to Snohomish 3-0 in overtime in 1978. Aside from state playoffs, ties continued in league play. The last one in the GSL was a 7-7 deadlock between University and Shadle Park in 1994.

The first regular season overtime game was in 1997 between the same two schools, University and Shadle Park. Since that year, including this season, there have been 42 games, league and non-league, by GSL schools that have gone beyond the fourth quarter.

The longest tie-breaker contests to date have gone 4 overtimes. University and North Central in 2004, and Gonzaga Prep and Ferris in 2014, share the honors for playing in the longest game in Greater Spokane League history.

Bill Pierce
Bill Pierce is a sports blogger who writes the weekly nwprepsnow prep sports almanac.

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