Here we go. The 2013 season of high school football has officially started. It's Week 0 and the hopes and dreams of every Texas high school football player are high for a good showing and I started my season in the small hamlet of Robert Lee, Texas on Friday night. Robert Lee plays six-man football and if you have not had the opportunity to witness a six-man football game you really should take the time to do it. It's fast paced, high energy and high scoring.
To start off their season, Robert Lee was playing in a newly revamped stadium, which included beautifully laid synthetic turf, against a team from Meeteetse, Wyoming. Six-man football hasn't been played in Wyoming for very long, maybe around 10 years, and Meeteetse is still in their preseason, only holding practice since Aug. 17. Coupled with some travel and weather issues (gametime temperatures were in the lower 90s, not typical in Wyoming this time of year), Meeteetse had a few disadvantages coming in to the game. But they represented themselves very well.
The first half of the game was a back-and-forth battle for the most part. Meeteetse scored just three plays into their opening drive to make them the first school to score at the renovated Griffith Stadium. Robert Lee asnwered back in kind when they could but trailed in points for most of the first half. It was still a dog fight though with Robert Lee down 25-24 at the half. This, unfortunately, would be the end of the game for me. Due to a new staffing situation, I had to leave the game at the half to fullfill some photo editing duties back at the office. Man, I wish I could have stayed because the game drama didn't end until late in the fourth quarter.
Here's a clip from the story written by sports editor Paul Harris about the second half:
The teams traded scores in the third quarter, and the entertaining battle eventually resulted in a 44-44 tie with 34 seconds left in the third period.
Robert Lee took the lead for good when Will Howard found Bruce Buddin for a 22-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left in the third quarter for a 52-44 lead.
Meeteetse pulled within 52-50 with 8:01 remaining in the game, but the Longhorns were unable to tie the game on the ensuing PAT. In fact, they struggled all night with their PAT, scoring only one point in eight tries, while Robert Lee was 9 of 10 for 18 points.
Howard scored on a 15-yard run with 7:43 to play, and his two-point kick gave the Steers a 10-point lead. After a Meeteetse fumble, Robert Lee sealed the victory when Jayton Torres, who had 103 rushing yards, ran for his second TD of the night.
“It was huge the way we responded, and we needed this,” Avants said. “We needed to fight, and we needed to claw. We’ve struggled to find our identity through our scrimmages, but I think we may have found it a little bit tonight.”
For Meeteetse, Friday’s loss won’t count against its win-loss record in Wyoming as the Longhorns are still in their preseason.
But the experience won’t soon be forgotten, and it may help them back in their state.
“It’s definitely a different game down here than it is up there,” Bennett said. “It’s quite a bit faster down here, so I think we can take this back to Wyoming and it’ll be a great advantage for us.”
Sounded like a lot of fun didn't it? I wish I could have stayed for the whole thing. Oh well, maybe next week.