State Stories

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Peoria High School's Geno Hess Has Historic Season Opener, Rushes For 567 Yards & 8 TDs In Shootout Win

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Peoria High School junior running back Geno Hess had a historic performance in the Lions season-opening victory on August 26, 2016, posting the second-best single-game rushing total in state history.

The game was a long affair, literally and figuratively, for the defenses, as the second quarter featured a 30-minute lightening delay. Ultimately, the Lions needed every one of Hess’ 567 yards and eight touchdowns to outlast Normal West 70-63.

Hess came up just 26 yards short of tying the all-time state record (593 yards) set by Austin High School’s (Chicago) DeAndre Hooper against Near North High School in October 1996.

Hess carried the ball 63 times en route to a nine-yard per carry average and also caught four passes for 53 yards. His total offensive output of 620 yards was the third-best performance in state history, while he became the seventh player (eighth occurrence) to run for eight touchdowns in a game, just shy of the 10 TD record shared by three players. One of the them was Peoria High’s John Zinser in 1920, so Hess’ performance ranks No. 2 in school history.

Peoria High’s 730 rush yards and 862 yards off offense in the game are each No. 2 in state history. The 133 combined points rank No. 4 in the IHSA record book.

See Hess' highlights from the game below courtesy of IHSA partners HUDL and MaxPreps: