Revisiting the epic Lamar Jackson vs. Tyler Huntley high school football game between future Ravens teammates

Broward County, Florida, has seen few better talents grace their gridirons than Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley.

The Ravens star and his elusive underling have become household names in Charm City, beguiling pursuers with delicate footwork and — in Jackson’s case — an arm touched by the gods.

For all their professional success — Jackson is all but certain to capture his second MVP, while Huntley is one of the league’s better backups and a former Pro Bowl participant — it was the largely Black and Latino enclaves of their home districts that provided the duo with a foundation to reach the next level.

It was also within that environment where they converged with one another. Jackson and Huntley might be teammates now, but once, back when the pair were fresh-faced teenagers, they were adversaries, competing with one another for the ultimate throne: to be named king of District 15-6A.

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This is the story of Jackson and Huntley’s magnum opus (arguably), a high school battle between the two quarterbacks that still echoes across their home state one decade later.

Revisiting the Lamar Jackson vs. Tyler Huntley high school football game

Having transferred from Santaluces Community High School to Boynton Beach ahead of his junior season, Jackson was something of an unknown commodity when he first entered District 15-6A in 2013.

By 2014, though, everyone knew his name. He was the whirling dervish of a QB who would leave a trail of defenders in his wake with just a drop of his shoulder. Perhaps you remember this clip that went viral a few years back:

Boynton Beach was rolling, winners of nine straight. Jackson spearheaded a Tigers offense that averaged more than 50 points a game.

Hallandale — Huntley’s school — was no slouch, either. Huntley and future Utah teammates Zack Moss and Demari Simpkins headlined an 8-0 Chargers’ squad that boasted more than a few Division I talents.

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The stage was set for the final game of the regular season. The fact that it happened amid a tempest added more intrigue to the matchup.

With the wind howling and mud mounting on the field, Jackson and Huntley went to work.

The matchup was a barnburner. Neither Jackson nor Huntley let up an inch — save for an uncharacteristic Jackson interception in the game’s middle stages. The future MVP turned water to wine countless times on that unruly field, prancing 51 yards down the field for one score, evading a cavalry of defenders before launching a 44-yard touchdown on another. He accrued more than 400 yards on total offense on the day and scored five touchdowns.

“I remember Lamar just doing his thing, just running up the scoreboard,” Huntley said on The Lounge, a Ravens-related podcast.

Huntley responded in kind, producing more than 300 yards and three scores of his own. He was relentless, especially as the game neared its closing stages.

“In order for us to win the game, we had to keep going back-and-forth with him,” Huntley added.

With a little more than four minutes left in the game, it looked like Hallandale had done enough. A Huntley dart from short range extended his school’s lead to 35-22, a seemingly insurmountable deficit, even for someone like Jackson.

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The then-junior had a trick up his sleeve, however. Jackson dodged a fender bender before firing a dart to Chauncey Mason to cut into Hallandale’s lead with 2:47 left.

Then came the miracle: Boynton Beach recovered an onside kick, setting Jackson up deep in Hallandale territory. He would deliver in the end, firing another rocket into the end zone to wrestle back the lead from the Tigers’ reactionaries.

The tide appeared to be turning with just 30 seconds left. A short kickoff gave Hallandale a shortened field as the game neared its final rush. After a Huntley completion — and a contentious no-call to wipe out a potential game-sealing interception — the onus was on Hallandale’s kicker to win the game for his beloved alma mater.

Jackson was playing defensive back in the game’s dying embers. It wasn’t enough, though. Kicker Celso Lopez — a 5-foot-6, 135-pound loanee from the men’s soccer team — rifled his attempt through the uprights. Huntley’s Hallandale had won.

“I was in tears,” Boynton Beach player Devon Sylencieux said, according to The Athletic. “That’s, like, the first time I ever cried on a football field. We were 9-0. We were talking all week about a (district) championship, breaking a school record. We had high expectations, and to lose on a game-winning field goal, man, that was rough. I was heartbroken watching it go in.”

As the result rolls further and further away, its spot as one of the greatest matchups in Broward County sporting history certainly lives on.

“It’s probably the funnest game I’ve ever played in, at least at the high school level,” former Hallandale tailback Taj McGowan said. “I’ll never forget that game.”

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