It’s after 2 a.m., I should be in bed, and yet I can’t stop thinking about tonight’s Broad Run-Stone Bridge game.
It’s not because of who won – I live a mile from each and think the world of both coaches. But I’m smiling because the area finally got to see what really good high school football is all about.
Andy Hayes over at GameDay and I once had a conversation about the “good old days” when we grew up and a good high school game was packed with people in every seat and lined up around the fence three deep. It was a game where both sides shouted their lungs out, all fans were in a perpetual state of nervousness, and when the final gun sounded, one team celebrated. The other side was on the edge of tears.
This area hasn’t really seen that. Yeah, there have been state championships, and there have been a few games where the crowds have been intense – Phoebus-Stone Bridge in 2007 and the last three Broad Run-Briar Woods games come to mind – but they didn’t quite pack the energy seen tonight.
The best high school game I ever saw was in 1980, when Giles County beat Park View 33-32 for the state title. Two hours before the game, the parking lots were packed. It was bitter cold, but nobody kept their hands in their pocket. Park View had a great player in Allen Pinkett, who scored all 32 of Park View’s points, but it wasn’t individual performance that made it a great game. It was the atmosphere, the tension in the air, the realization that just about every other play was crucial to winning.