Okay, so now we get to the actual Friday night game and the second football game on the docket for the week, Irion County versus Gorman.We picked to cover this game for two reasons: 1. Irion County was 2-0 heading into the contest and, 2. because it was the game farthest east we could find, getting us as close as possible to Dallas/Ft Worth for the third game of the week at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
In the Sports section of the Standard-Times each Friday we run a pick-it line where several members of the newsroom staff go down a list of selected high school, college and professional football games that will be played that weekend and we each decide who will be the victor of each contest.At the end of the season whoever has the best record wins a trophy that you get to proudly display on your desk for the entire year. Some staff members, like the sports staff and my editor, comb through previous game statistics on every team before making their decisions and submitting their picks. I, on the other hand, just go with my gut, a more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of method. Needless to say, I'm in dead last three weeks into the season. But, I had a good feeling about the Irion County so I picked them to win.
On this evening, Gorman came to play, still winless for the season. The first quarter went scoreless, but in the second, a high snap sailed over the head of Irion County's punter and Gorman found themselves in prime position to score with the ball on the 5-yard line. A Gorman quarterback sneak and point-after-attempt a few plays later made the score 7-0 heading into halftime. Matters were made worse for Irion County when their primary running back, Dantae Harris, was knocked out of the game late in the first quarter with what appeared to be a concussion. He would not return to the game.
Penalties and the inability to break through the Gorman defense plagued Irion County all night. On the opening kickoff of the second half a personal foul called on the Hornets gave Gorman the ball at midfield. Seven plays later Gorman scored again to go up 14-0. There was one bright spot for the Hornets when Logan McGee went 53-yards to pay dirt, but alas, the score was called back due to an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Hornets. And as if Irion County wasn't feeling low enough, Gorman intercepted a pass and ran it back 62-yards for a touchdown making the score 21-0. It was a tough loss for the Hornets.
After the game and all the photos and the story was sent back to the office, sports editor Paul Harris and I left for Weatherford were we would spend the night.Our local college, Angelo State University, was going to be participating in the Lone Star Football Festival at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. I've been to Cowboys Stadium once before, last year while covering a game between Mason and Stamford for the Class 1-A Division I state championship in December. I was very excited about getting another opportunity to work in one of the most spectacular stadiums in the country.