Normally, photographers are not sent out on the road with our two biggest schools, Central and Lake View, due to the long distances they have to travel. We like the photo staff to stay closer to home and cover the area schools, but because Central's week 10 game was so big and had playoff ramifications, I was sent to Midland, about an hour and a half away, to cover the Bobcats' final regular season game against Midland Lee.
If you remember from the last Central football post, the team had to win this game against Lee in order to make it into the post-season. It was an all or nothing, do or die, no holds barred kind of night for the Bobcats. And it didn't really start off all that great. Lee managed a 14-0 lead at the half against a Central team that seemed to have every opportunity to punch the ball in for a score, but couldn't manage to get the job done.
At the start of halftime, I ran up to the press box to edit and transmit photos to the office. I had picked Central to win the night's game in my pick-it line simply believing they would come out swinging due to the previous week's controversial loss at home. I wasn't having second thoughts on my choice of picking the Bobcats to win, but I have to say they were making me sweat a little. Not that Central winning the game would matter much in the overall standings of the office pick-it line because I am hopelessly in last place.
A majority of the time it takes me well into the third quarter before I am done editing and transmitting photos back to the office. Most of the time I'm sitting in the passenger seat of my car or in an office in some field house and on some occasions, I'm sitting in the parking lot of a local fast-food restaurant trying leach off their open wifi network to transmit photos back to the office and I never get to watch what's going on in the game while I'm off the field. But because Grande Communications Stadium in Midland is extra awesome, I could sit in the press box, do my work and see everything going on in the game.
The momentum of the game began to change on a 15-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-11 on Central's opening drive of the quarter. Central's defense then forced Lee to punt the ball away twice and with just less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Central again scored with another pass knotting the score at 14-14. I had just sent my last photo back to the office and I knew that I had to get down to the field as fast as I could because if Central was going to take the lead, I needed to get that shot to send to the office if they pulled off the comeback. I gathered my gear and made a mad dash for the elevator.
When I got back to the field Central was back on offense and driving the ball toward the end zone at a fast pace. I positioned myself in the back of the end zone just as Central ran a trick play on third down with wide receiver Landon Sawyer floating a pass back across the field to quarterback Mickey Scott for the score. The Central fans went nuts. The comeback was now in full swing and Central now had the lead 21-14. The pesky Lee offense wouldn't back down and tied the game again at 21-21 with less than 10 minutes to play, but Central answered the challenge with a 54-yard touchdown when Scott hit junior slot receiver Nick Barron putting the Bobcats up 28-21. Central cemented the win with a fumble recovery deep in their own territory and the Bobcats were on their way to the post season. It was a great game and I wish the Bobcats the best of luck in the playoffs.