The greatest football comeback ever?

Normally I’d treat sports highlights as a palate cleanser but this clip is so improbable that it qualifies as news.

Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas has one of the best programs in America, ranked seventh in the country this season and winner of three national titles over the past decade. Last night they visited Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, a solid but not similarly stellar rival. To no one’s surprise, Gorman held a 24-7 lead late — very late — in the fourth quarter.

To everyone’s surprise, that lead turned out not to be safe. Watch, then read on.

I didn’t know the outcome beforehand and felt real suspense by the end that Gorman would pull it out with a series of laterals on the final play.

So, greatest comeback ever?

It depends on how you’re measuring greatness. The Patriots’ comeback against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI was the greatest high-stakes comeback ever but it unfolded over more than a quarter of regulation play, not 70 seconds. The Bills’ comeback against the Oilers in the 1993 AFC playoffs was an all-timer, erasing a 32-point lead, but that played out over an entire half.

The legendary Cal-Stanford finish in 1982 had the most memorable play of any comeback. But it was just one play, not a series of scores to take the lead in a seemingly impossibly short time frame.

The only real competition Gorman-Hamilton has for greatest comeback ever, I think, is the immortal John Tyler vs. Plano East high school playoff game in Texas in 1994. Tyler led 41-17 with three minutes left, and then all hell broke loose — including the three most colorful minutes of sports broadcasting in U.S. history. If you’ve never watched the clip, you owe it to yourself.

But there’s one small problem with calling this the greatest comeback ever: In the end, does it truly qualify as a comeback? You’ll see what I mean. Enjoy.

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