Friday, November 8, 2013

EJ Was Hot, the Doughnuts Were Hotter

Tori and I had waited long enough. Last night we went to the Easy Jefferson High School football game.

Max is in the band, so he's been going week after week. This week was the last game of the regular season and we didn't want to miss out, especially since ER is supposed to be pretty goo.

EJ was going into the game with a 9-0 record, ranked No. 10 in the state. They were playing a team that was 5-4, so it's not like the opponents couldn't play football. They'd beaten five other schools.

The EJ Warriors were just a machine. I was a sports writer/editor in my early days in the news business and I've seen a lot of high school football, some very good teams. EJ was a whole different level of good. They ran a no-huddle offense the whole game. Ten years ago you rarely saw a college team go no huddle, and these kids did it all game. Their place kicker, a skinny little kid, was booting the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs, and he only missed one extra point, when he was kicking into a wind.

E.J. kicked off to open the game, and forced a fumble on the other team's first play from scrimmage. Scored two plays later. The rout was on.

By halftime it was 48-0.

I mentioned a wind the kid was kicking into. It was a cold wind, blowing straight down the field and bleachers. When we moved here a year ago after four years in the tropics, I didn't have any warm clothing. I still don't own a jacket, just never got around to it. I wore a hooded sweatshirt and two shirts, and I was cold and getting colder. Tori was equally cold. When we weren't jumping up and cheering for another EJ touchdown, we huddled together.

There was an older couple sitting next to us, and after another score he and Tori chatted briefly about the team. She said something about how good the team was and what fun the kids were having down on the field. (Well, the other team wasn't having much fun, but that was their problem.) The guy allowed as how, yeah, being on that field under the lights was still one of his favorite memories.

"You played here?" Tori asked.

"Oh yeah, back in 1964." Then he kind of grinned and said, "Of course, I was only 8 years old at the time."

Halftime came. We watched the bands because, hey, we're band parents. But we were looking down the barrel of a very long second half. From where we sat in the top row of the bleachers, we could see, two blocks away – Krispy Kreme!

The band marched off the field. We marched out of the stadium and drove immediately to Krispy Kreme for coffee and crullers that definitely made things better.

By the time we got back, the game had just ended. The EJ coach had put in the second and third teamers for the last two quarters, so the final score was 48-0.

There's still the playoffs, so we might make ano0ther game or two. But only if I get a jacket. There's decent chance EJ will go pretty far. For the 10 games of the season, the Warriors have scored 456 points. They've allowed 32. Only three teams even scored on them, and only one game was even close. I can't imagine how good No.s 1 through 9 must be.

Kate is not a fan, so she didn't go to the game. But she was happy. We brought doughnuts home.

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