Friday night, October 29 in Nacogdoches, I was witness to the weirdest game I've ever seen. We (Jacksonville) went down to Nacogdoches to play knowing that a win (or even a loss by less than 8 pts due to tiebreaker rules) guaranteed a return to the state football playoffs. A Nacogdoches win by less than 8 pts would give them a victory but eliminate them from the playoffs. Confusing? You should've been there in person. When was the last time you saw a team with a chance to win take a knee just to keep the game going? It happened. Or throwing a ball intentionally almost to the parking lot? Many of us who were there won't soon forget it. I won't bore you with the details. Instead, you can read a full account of the game here. Suffice it to say this: when the game ended after a national record 12 OTs, we'd played more than 5 hours (officially the game began at 7:30 PM and ended at 12:54 AM Saturday morning), seen almost 1,400 yds of offense, 18 touchdowns in overtime alone and enough strange sights to leave all of scratching our heads.
Here's my take:
(1) It was cold. My wise and discerning wife had encouraged me to take my "big" coat. I felt sort of funny about when my traveling mates teased me about it. But by the time we turned for home (we left for home about 1:05 AM), I had people offering me cash (!) for my coat!
(2) Anytime I have a coach stop me (I think it was in the 5th overtime but I'm not sure) and ask me if I've ever seen anything like this, you're at an unusual game.
(3) In speaking with people during the overtimes, I told someone that it was shame anyone had to lose this game. Major props to both teams, coaches, bands (they both stayed till the frigid end!) and schools.
Thanks for a night to remember.