“WE SCORED 68 POINTS… AND LOST!!”
By: Tim Fletcher
Lakeside Warriors head football coach, Joey Pesses brought his young charges to Vivian Friday night to face Jerry Bryd’s North Caddo Rebels and a basketball game broke out.
“It felt surreal. I was looking for the hardwood and the free throw line.”
After 48 minutes of football at Sanders-Prudhomme Stadium on North Caddo’s Senior night, the over-worked scoreboard read: Guests 70, Home 68.
138 points in a high school football game with only a two-point differential is rarer than a Vivian traffic jam.
This doozy of a Friday night affair started off with a bang and never lost its explosiveness as North Caddo speedster, Tyree McCauley hauled in the opening kick and then hauled tail all the way to the end zone.
Here is where it starts getting fuzzy for those involved.
According to Coach Pesses, “We fumbled on our first play and they scored two plays later. Three plays in, we’re down 14-zip.”
When asked about the early Warriors turnover, Jerry Byrd paused and then said, “Uh. I believe it was their first possession. May have been the second time they had it. It’s kind of…well, we were up 14-nothing, Bam, right off the bat.”
That’s okay, Coach Byrd. There are a lot of Blurred Lines of Scrimmage from this one.
At the midway point of the fray, there was already a total of 68 points on the board. We believe.
“They were up six… 36-30… I think. I have talked about it so much, I may make myself believe some things that didn’t actually happen,” Pesses said about the halftime score.
Byrd was also puzzled about the tally at halftime. “38-30 I believe.”
Who was ahead, Coach?
|North Caddo Head Coach Jerry Byrd|
“They were. Wait. Hold on. We were up. One thing that messed both up both of us,” Byrd said, “there was a time when the scoreboard didn’t have their score right. I had to keep asking the coach in the press box to be sure we knew what the score was.”
Can you blame the scoreboard operator for a miscue or two in this one? He may be the only scoreboard operator being treated for tendonitis this weekend.
The Rebels, winners of only one game in eight attempts before last night, don’t have a ton of physical might, but they have speed and desire.
Lakeside has more than a dose of quickness as well with the bulk of Class 2A’s second fasted 4 x 100 relay team toting the rock the majority of the time. Maurice Moore, Dale Moore and Chris Lewis know how to reach fourth gear in a hurry, proving that with multiple touchdowns Friday night.
Don’t hold me to that though.
Off the top of his head, Pesses tried to come up with the TD makers. “We may have had six or seven different people score. Lewis, Moore, Moore… let’s see. The fullback scored a pair, the wingback, the quarterback...”
Pesses is in his 19th year as a high school football coach, Byrd in his 18th. It’s safe to say Friday night’s tilt will go down as unforgettable, even if they do have trouble remembering all the details.
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At some point, they each had that “Eureka” moment.
For Jerry Byrd, it came after the game. “Coaches all over the state are going to know me as the coach who scored 68 points and lost. That’ll be in my obituary.”
Pesses almost felt your pain, Coach Byrd.
Late in the 4th quarter, Pesses took his head set off, gazed at the scoreboard and thought, “How did you score 62 points and lose. I was thinking the same thing when we had 50 points on the board.”
The points kept coming after halftime like in-laws through the front door after winning the lottery. A fourth quarter update informed us North Caddo had taken a 62-56 lead. Within five minutes of real time, Lakeside had caught and passed the Rebels, storming to a 70-62 advantage. Proving there was no time to rubberneck the Rebels on the side of the road, McCauley took the ensuing kick back for a North Caddo touchdown to make it 70-68.
North Caddo was a two-point conversion away from potentially sending the game to overtime and fans into overload. Byrd called, “Wing light, lead left. It’s a play that’s been good to us… they did a good job of defending it… Deion Johnson was our running back. Our quarterback, Jontaveon Brooks reversed out, handed the ball to him, somebody got through, Deion tried to side-step to the left and get into the end zone and didn’t quite make it.”
North Caddo did get the ball back for one final play after stopping Lakeside but a last-ditch effort failed to produce the dramatic result needed for a win.
70-68, Lakeside earned the win over North Caddo.
The offensive display should go into a time capsule. As far as the defense? Let’s say, ‘Forgive and forget.’ At least that’s what the head coaches want to do with their defensive scheme designers.
Who are the guys responsible for the defensive games plans, you ask? Did either head coach have some choice words for his defensive coordinator?
“That’s me!” Pesses exclaimed. “Ha ha ha ha. I worked my tail off and I couldn’t do any better than that! We scored 70 points, but we gave up 68! The object is to score more than the other team, so I guess it worked out.
Byrd and his staff concentrated on defense all week, much more than the Rebels offensive game plan. “I go in my office, after the game,” Byrd chuckled. “I look at all these play-cards, 50 something defensive play cards drawn up and I thought what the heck? All that time spent working on defense! I was looking for a sharp, rusty object at that point.”
When contacted Saturday morning, Byrd had not yet re-watched the game.
“I slept in this morning for the first time in a long time. I also have a headache. We scored 68 points and lost! I may never watch it,” Byrd said.
Pesses is enjoying the sunnier side of the scoreboard, proving the Manning’s prophetic by watching football on his personal device. “I watched it on my phone at one o’clock this morning. I was back up here at 7am, watching it again.”
Pesses and the Warriors have most likely secured a spot in the 2A non-select playoffs. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving coach, who languished through a winless season in Springhill a couple of years back. He won’t be kicking himself too long for surrendering so many points in the victory.
If he could kick himself it would have been the only successful leg swing of Friday’s game. Neither team attempted an extra point kick, nor a field goal attempt. When told that Minden head coach Spencer Heard used a Norwegian foreign exchange student to boot through the game winning extra point in overtime against Huntington, Byrd said, “We need one of those European exchange students too. He can move in with us. I’ll drive him to Vivian and back each day!”
Only if he can play linebacker… or point guard, right coach?