14 of the greatest single-season QB performances in high school history
When it comes to generational talents on the high school football fields throughout the game’s history, few positions have lit up the stat books and scoreboards like quarterbacks.
Athletes who were nearly impossible to stop, some QBs have put up numbers that would be record-setting accomplishments for a four-year starter—yet they did it in one season.
From 5,000-plus-yard passing clinics to touchdown totals that seemed like a lopsided video-game simulation to undefeated marks that culminated with state titles, these 14 single-season quarterbacking performances have stood out as the best of the best in high school history.
14. Nick Gerber, Levelland (Levelland, Texas), 2016
Stats: 5,617 yards passing (337 completions, 522 attempts) | 77 touchdown passes
Four losses during Gerber’s senior year keep him from moving any higher than 14th, but it’s impossible to completely overlook his single-season accomplishments—especially considering he holds the Texas state record for passing yards and touchdowns. And his minuscule eight interceptions over his 552 attempts only add to the argument for his appearance on the list.
13. Maty Mauk, Kenton (Kenton, Ohio), 2010
Stats: 5,670 yards passing (372 completions, 568 attempts) | 69 touchdown passes
It won’t be the last time you see the name Mauk on this list—whether under center or coaching from the sidelines. Although Maty Mauk’s junior year wasn’t an undefeated campaign, the 6-foot-2 slinger torched defenses for nearly 430 yards passing a game while racking up 69 touchdowns. He would finish his career with the nation’s most total yardage (22,681), with his 2010 season ranking as the 11th-best passing performance in high school history.
12. Myles Brennan, St. Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Miss.), 2014
Stats: 5,797 yards (409 completions, for 482 attempts) | 64 touchdown passes
Brennan almost had more touchdowns than he did incomplete passes back in 2014, an unbelievable combo of accuracy and arm strength for such a young QB. Although his team lost two games while he was under center that season, it’s hard to fault a sophomore who put up those kinds of numbers.
11. Jimmy Jordan, Leon (Tallahassee, Fla.), 1975
Stats: 4,098 yards passing
The mid-70s at Tallahassee’s Leon High School had two great quarterbacks, both setting records during their careers. Wally Woodham’s 3,511 yards passing set the record in 1974, and then Jimmy Jordan one-upped his fellow QB the following year with a 4,098-yard masterpiece. That 4,000-plus yard display would stand as the first-ever such achievement. (Both would go on to play at Florida State University—for Jordan, his first season was also Bobby Bowden’s—and would make up the famed a Two-Headed Monster.)
10. Thomas Thrash, Pulaski Academy (Little Rock, Ark.), 2001
Stats: 5,272 yards passing (355 completions, 502 attempts) | 77 touchdown passes
Thrash raised the bar for QB greatness in Arkansas back in 2001, setting records for touchdown passes with 77 and yards passing. His multiple-TD games fit the incredible accolades, too: He had a 10-TD performance, and also added one 9-TD showing, an 8-TD stat line, and two 7-TD games! He even had an 8-TD half (yep: HALF!).
9. Grant Sherman, Kenton (Kenton, Ohio), 2013
Stats: 5,920 yards passing (440 completions, 665 attempts) | 65 touchdown passes
2013 was a big year for the Ohio QB, with Sherman hanging up incredible stat lines and sharing some of the pinnacle successes of past Kenton play callers. He passed for nearly 6,000 yards, averaging 442 yards per game while hardly throwing any incompletions (66 percent of the time he was on-target). The Wildcats lost in the state semifinals that season, but it doesn’t diminish what Sherman was able to produce.
8. Will Grier, Davidson Day (Davidson, N.C.), 2012
Stats: 5,785 yards (324 completions, 414 attempts) | 69 touchdown passes | 6 interceptions
Another junior year campaign that had the high school football world tilting their heads in wide-eyed awe, Will Grier was a passing master in 2012. He lit up the national stat books that season: 871 yards passing in one game; he connected on a 99-yard TD; and he also threw for 10 touchdowns in a game. Accuracy was not an issue either, with Grier hitting on nearly 80 percent of his passes.
7. Alex Huston, Glendale (Springfield, Mo.), 2016
Stats: 6,131 yards (395 completions, 563 attempts) | 76 touchdown passes
That’s not a misprint or a poorly scripted 5. Nope, that’s 6,131 yards passing from the arm of Alex Hutson—an achievement that has only been accomplished twice! Not only was Huston torching defenses back in 2016, but he was doing so with such accuracy (70 percent) that teams had no chance of stopping him. His 76 touchdowns were phenomenal, as was his 11-game streak of throwing for 400 yards or more. The coolest part? Fans got to watch him one year after that, as he was only a junior.
6. Layne Hatcher, Pulaski Academy (Little Rock, Ark.), 2017
Stats: 5,779 yards passing (384 completions, 531 attempts) | 66 touchdown passes
The second Pulaski Academy on this list, Hatcher took the bar set by Thrash back in 2001 and raised it even higher. The talented play caller had 11 fewer touchdown passes, but his 500-plus more yards through the air are hard to overlook. Hatcher led the Bruins to an undefeated season (14-0) and another Class 5A state championship.
5. Joe Ferguson, Woodlawn-Shreveport (Shreveport, La.), 1968
Stats: 3,293 yards passing | 40 touchdowns
You might remember him as the Buffalo Bills quarterback who wore No. 12 before Jim Kelly, but more so, Jim Ferguson was arguably the pioneer for record-setting high school QBs. Back in the late-’60s, Ferguson led his Woodlawn squad to an undefeated season and a state title. The team-oriented QB tossed 40 touchdowns that year and is said to have been the first passer to ever throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season.
4. J.R. House, Nitro (Nitro, W. Va.), 1998
Stats: 5,526 yards passing (425 completions, 610 attempts) | 65 touchdown passes
J.R. House and the 1998 Nitro Wildcats went on an impressive run to the state title, capping off a small-school story of David versus Goliath. Under a no-huddle offense, House was a must-see phenom—a QB with an arm that had been the stuff of legend ever since he was a 14-year-old eighth-grader. As the team’s success grew, so did House’s appeal, with his final game at Wheeling Island Stadium attracting some 11,000-plus spectators who wanted a firsthand look at his ability. And he didn’t disappoint, demolishing the Morgantown defense for 43-of-60 passing for 594 yards and 10 TDs.
3. Ben Mauk, Kenton (Kenton, Ohio), 2002
Stats: 6,540 yards passing | 1,388 yards rushing | 76 touchdown passes
Ben Mauk (pictured right) with Maty (center) was a dual-threat QB for the ages. Under his dad (pictured left) Mike’s empty-backfield system, Mauk led Kenton to consecutive state titles and a whole bunch of record-breaking statistical achievements. His 6,540 yards passing are a national record that stands today, and the 1,388 rushing yards only add to the incredible ’02 spectacle. (Worth noting, Mike Mauk also coached Alex Huston, who threw for 6,000-plus yards.)
2. Corey Robinson, Lone Oak (Paducah, Ky.), 2007
Stats: 5,872 yards (383 completions, 520 attempts) | 91 touchdown passes | 4 interceptions
Corey Robinson’s passing prowess in 2007 is summed up best by the amount of 8-TD games he had: four. The eventual staring QB at Troy University ended his senior season with 91 touchdowns—Ninety. One!—to only four interceptions. Which means he had just as many 8-TD games as he did picks. Had Robinson and the Purple Flash not lost the state final to Lexington Catholic, his performance would rank as probably the greatest ever.
1. Jake Browning, Folsom (Folsom, Calif.), 2014
Stats: 5,790 yards (360 completions, 524 attempts) | 91 touchdown passes | 7 interceptions
The top nod goes to Jake Browning’s 2014 performance, one that completely overshadowed the fierce California high school football landscape. Browning led Folsom to an undefeated season (16-0), capped off by a state title, where the team pummeled Oceanside, 68-7. He tied the national mark of 91 touchdown passes, and his 5,790 yards passing set a California record. Like a few on this list, his accuracy was lethal. Browning connected on nearly 70 percent of his passes, which helped him set another Cali record for his career: 1,191 completions and 1,708 attempts.