400-plus yards a county feat

Published October 3, 2006

TAMPA - Official records aren't kept for such things, but it appears Jefferson's Stephen Garcia threw for more yards in a single game Friday against Leto than any Hillsborough County quarterback in the past 20 years - or longer.

According to statistics provided by Jefferson after its 56-0 rout of Leto, Garcia threw for 445 yards, the 13th-best single-game effort according to Floridapreprecords.com, an online index of state records managed by veteran Orlando Sentinel reporter Buddy Collings.

Collings' list of 400- and 500-yard passing games dates to at least 1983.

Garcia's effort was 14 yards greater than the total thrown in 1998 by Jesuit's Gary Godsey in a 56-33 playoff loss to Miami Monsignor Pace. From 1993-96, Tampa Catholic's Kenny Kelly threw for more than 300 yards several times, but never pushed a total like 445, according to Tampa Catholic coach Bob Henriquez.

"There were times when Kenny probably could have thrown for that many yards but the difference was we had a strong running attack at the same time," said Henriquez, who coached Kelly throughout his high school career.

"We spread our offense around because we had a lot of weapons."

In Friday's game, Garcia completed 24-of-26 and threw for six touchdowns before being pulled in the third quarter.

"Everything was working pretty well," Garcia said. "I was doing my job and everybody else was doing theirs."

Friday's yardage gives Garcia 1,457 for the year, which puts him on a reasonable pace to catch Kelly for the county's all-time passing yardage mark of 7,949. Garcia stands at 6,772.

His half-dozen touchdown passes give him 67 for his career, 15 behind the county's all-time leader, Robinson's Marcello Trigg.

According to Collings' Web site, Matt Johnson holds the state's single-game passing yardage mark with 534 in Fort Lauderdale's 48-45 victory against Flanagan in 2004.

The state record for touchdowns in a game is held by Orlando Colonial's Mike Mitchell, who threw for eight in a 1998 54-15 victory against Kissimmee Poinciana.