GREENLAND (KFSM) - Lee Larkan has a flare for the dramatics. Not as an individual because he's as close to a straight shooter as you will find. But when it comes to sporting events, the Greenland coach has been through it all.
He admitted an error of his own turned into playing in the longest baseball game in Arkansas high school history at 21 innings. He also coached in a six overtime game. But what he and his Pirates went through Friday against Gentry might take the top spot.
"I don’t really want to be involved in 147 points again," Larkan said with a smile. "It was a fun game but a little hard on the heart."
You read that right. One hundred and forty seven points. Greenland's 76-71 win ranks second in state history for combined points between two schools from the state of Arkansas. The 2008 meeting between Fountain Lake and Hot Springs Lakeside holds the record as the Cobras won that game 88-66.
"Just score a lot of points," Greenland senior Hunter Cartwright said. "Our defense didn’t do that good so we just had to score more than they did."
It didn't take long to realize that Friday's game was going to be a wild one. It was tied 28-all at the end of 12 minutes and then the Pirates led 49-35 at intermission.
Gentry looked to take all the momentum as they took a 71-70 lead with less than three minutes remaining after converting a two-point conversion. Greenland then looked to run out of chances as they faced a 4th and long from inside their own 30.
"We were just kind of grasping at that point so if it works, it works," Larkan said.
Greenland went to a play called 'Saint'. It is a simple hook-and-lateral he installed in his first season at Greenland (2001) to use against Shiloh Christian.
"They’d been playing off our receivers a little bit so we knew we could probably get the pass but we just didn’t know if we could break it and he was able to catch it and run for a while," Larkan said.
"Honestly going through my mind I said we’ve got this won," Greenland senior Austin Anderson said. "There’s no way that they can stop this and after the play we got down on the nine and got the next play call and I knew Hayden Stout was going to punch it in for us."
The Pirates led 76-71 but Jon Faulkenberry, Gentry's quarterback, helped keep the drama alive. He had already accounted for 10 total touchdowns in the game and had two more scores called back because of penalty. The Pioneers had one last chance as Faulkenberry's short pass across the middle started chaos. Five laterals and even more missed tackles later, Greenland recovered a fumble and the game was thankfully over for the home team.
"At the end of the game, it was crazy," Anderson said. "A lot of us broke down with just tears of happiness and joy. Proud that the team came together and pulled that one out."