DQ Blog

Aug 1, 2010

What's your favorite Texas high school football story?

I will be showing my age by giving up this number but this will by um, uh ... like my 28th year of covering high school football here at the Globe-News.

My first experience was a Canyon at Hereford game with the stands packed and me sitting their in awe.

Since then I have seen 60-point blowouts, nail-biters in overtime, been shoved by a player after a game, accidentally been locked inside a couple stadiums, asked to pay admittance before I could go up to the press box and many more experiences.

But most of all I have seen some incredible football.

As the 2010 season kicks off in like 26 days, this is a time I reflect on what has touched me most during those years watching all those games.

Topping my list will always be the watching Panhandle and Hamlin in a 1984 playoff game down in Childress. Panhandle was coached by the late, great Sticky Lamberson, while Hamlin had some young guy named Art Briles. (Yeah, that Art who coaches Baylor these days).

The game ended in a tie at 7-7 with Panhandle advancing on 20-yard penetrations, the tiebreaker rule at that time. (I'm so glad that rule no longer exists. What a tupid idea.)

Well, so what's thrilling about a 7-7 game?

The Panthers held the ball the entire 12 minutes of the fourth quarter. Did you get that? The entire fourth quarter Panhandle put together one offensive drive never scoring, but crossing the 20-yard line for the victory.

Hamlin punted the ball away to Panhandle to end the fourth quarter and incredibly, those gritty Panthers who go on to play for a state championship, never let go of the football.

I once called the busy Briles during a football season when he was coaching at Houston. Head coaches of D-I programs rarely return calls to little ol' Amarillo. But I mentioned to his secretary the subject: Hamlin vs. Panhandle.

Ten minutes later, Briles was calling me back.
"I still can't believe it happened and when I tell people about it they don't believe me," Briles said. "I will never forget it."

To this day Briles is ticked that with about two minutes remaining he didn't let Panhandle score on purpose so they could at least try to score and go for a two-point conversion to win it.

By the way, one of the Panhandle players that day was current Canadian head coach Chris Koetting.

That's just one of many favorite Texas high school football stories.

I know you have one.

Would love to hear what it is?

See you at the field.

1 comment:

XA said...

Lancer -

Were you still working at the Canyon News for Troy Martin when you reported on that Panhandle vs Hamlin playoff game in Childress?

Where do you rank the Texas at Texas Tech game of November 1, 2008. We were both there bro. Personally, that one is on my top 5 all-time list of great football games I've witnessed in person (high school, college or pros).