Early to mid-December has always been a special time for me, not because Christmas is just around the corner, but as a long-time radio and TV broadcaster, its Prep Football Championship game time yet again. The next few days will see eight title games in seven classifications in two days in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on many of the games I’ve either broadcast on radio or television over the years, and have chosen a few of those to look back on, since I won’t be broadcasting a game at MBS here in 2018.
I’m sure I’ll never forget last year’s “Snowy” outside, “controversial” inside, Peach County-Calhoun game which ended with Hal Lamb’s Yellow Jackets on top, 10-6.
Bob Rathbun and I called the controversial play in that game on GPB-TV like we saw it live from the booth, and then to look at it several more times with the aid of instant replay.
I got the added opportunity to see it again the next 1,000 times I saw it (The Play) on Twitter, broken down in slow motion from every angle imaginable. It is a game I’ll never forget since it was at that moment that I finally realized how powerful social media has become.
That memorable game was just over a year ago and ironically Chad Campbell‘s Peach County Trojans defeated Calhoun, 22-7 a few days ago to earn the right to play Cedar Grove for the 2018 Class 3A title in this year’s finals.
The remaining Day One championship games at Mercedes-Benz were postponed after the Calhoun-Peach County game due to snow and inclement weather, and a few days later I was honored to be in the booth with Larry Smith, to call the Class 7A final between Colquitt County and North Gwinnett in Suwanee.
It was 28 degrees at kickoff, and -- trust me -- it did not warm up any as the night progressed. The game was all any football fan could hope for, as both teams gave their all in pursuit of the prestigious title. Rush Propst’s Colquitt County Packers came from behind to take a 17-16 lead with 49-seconds remaining.
The final moments of the game are still a blur to many, as the Packers were penalized for illegal participation (too many men on the field) on succeeding plays and then, a final referee’s flag was thrown on the last play of the game for pass interference. The game cannot end on a penalty, so after another penalty against Colquitt County, a 38-yard field goal by North Gwinnett’s Cameron Clark, after time had expired, gave Bill Stewart’s Bulldogs the win, and the title, 19-17.