Well, onei, it was an exciting year for the Blackcats, and one I wouldn't have given much chance for a year ago. And if I'd known Burchett would pass for 370 yds. in this game, I would have said there wouldn't be many teams in the state, no matter the class, to have any chance to win this game with that performance. But the running game never got cranked up, so Burchett kept piling up the yardage.
I've had the experience of being involved in some form with quite a few games over the past 8-10 yrs., and the "what-if's" are the one's that really bother me. We had 3 games with Belfry in those early years where phantom calls from one particular official, a former stepbrother, making the calls I satisfied myself with him wanting so ensure an appearance of impartiality, which seemed a rational explanation at the time. I found out later it was a personal matter against me and neither aware of at the time, nor that it continued to decline with time. But since those games had no real bearing on my life either then or since, they most certainly did for my son(the older one, but for some reason not my youngest)! I've since told him he really shouldn't have been involved with any game since he was a family member, while his response elicited simply a snicker/laugh(and also after I knew the reason, but it took me a while to understand that he had satisfied himself that he no longer had any desire to be related by any means). But these were all critical "what-if" calls that were obvious game changers, and admit I was deceived by his actions both during and after, and can live with my actions satisfied I still felt our relations hadn't changed at the time.
And, as it happened with this game as we had a player who seemed to suspect from DeSales alignment what he thought their play would be after the first leg count which they had been using instead of a verbal count, and he promptly yelled at his teammates the formation/play he tought would counter what he assumed their play would be, whether correct or not since it wasn't run, and the official had flagged him for an unsportsmanlike penalty for attempting to imitate their snap count and create an illegal procedure penalty on DeSales(who, as previously mentioned, was using the silent leg method!). So this was another "what-if" as they were then in a 3rd and long with the possibility of having to punt again, which could have put Burchett in a position to add to his passing yardage total, taken a larger lead if not mistaken, and changed the outcome of the contest.
But these "what-if's" prevent games from being decided on the field, and takes the game out of the kids hands and puts them into the hands of the adults, contrary to the pre-game speech from the officials, as well as the edict of the KSHAA.
Too many of the exciting games we've witnessed over the years are due to these "What-if's", and really sad they weren't able to be decided by the players playing the games instead of the adults "doing the jobs they are paid to do". I realize many will read this and say it's simply "sour grapes" but, again, I found out much later, confronted the individual about it some 2 yrs. later only to elicit that snicker/laugh, and he shouldn't have even been near those earlier games and again, of course, with that same reaction!
But I also realize the officials have many difficult decisions to make during the course of a game, and we're all human. But what are our kids learning from wins or losses, experiences, during games played that may not actually be decided by how they play the game? Sure the best teams win most games, but what about those "What-if" games? And they are the minority of the games played, but shouldn't they get to find out which team is the best on any given night, regardless of whether a series of games may actually produce a different winner? I had no child even distantly related to me with this game, but it most certainly brought back those old memories I've been able to distance myself from, but will never forget. Those "What-if's" should not determine who wins or loses if we expect these kids to learn from their experiences. Of course, I would be naive to think a majority of adults would choose differrently given the opportunity to influence the outcome. That also is human nature! Think about it.
By the way, Great game, DeSales. You're a fine team with some great athletes, and I wish you the best against Fort Campbell!