Mother Nature strikes again.
Yep, my worst fear came true Friday afternoon when rain, thunder and lightning swept across Millard and southwest portions of Omaha and interrupted the start of the second half of the Millard North/Lincoln East Class A football playoff game for about 45 minutes.
It's like getting caught with your pants down in public.
Figuring I would be safe by doing the 4pm game, I could also drive over to Burke Stadium for the Omaha Burke/Lincoln Southeast game at 7pm. Due to the 45 minute delay at Buell Stadium, I knew I wouldn't make it over in time for Burke and Southeast to kickoff. Thanks to the work of my program director at KFOR, Chris Goforth, and studio producer, Jeff Briden, we "tapped danced" and managed to get on the air about halfway through the first quarter of the LSE game.
To my knowledge, no one complained about not hearing the start of the game. I mean, nothing happened right away. I asked Ken Hambleton of the Lincoln Journal Star if anything happened and he said, "you missed nothing."
Amazingly enough, traffic wasn't too bad getting from about 149th and "Q" to 120th and Dodge.
I ran the risk and got burned. But, who was counting on a thunderstorm Friday afternoon in Omaha?
I certainly wasn't and the forecast that day DID NOT mention one thing about rain. The lightning delay came during the second round of rain that rolled through Millard. Early part of the first quarter saw a wind-driven rain that even produced, what I thought, was small hail that melted into slush as it hit the ground. It did leave a neat looking rainbow, after the sun peaked out.
Pretty neat, huh?
The storm, though, ruined East High's momentum and allowed Millard North to retool their offense. Clay Fisher, no doubt, is a great running quarterback but he's one-sided. East's dual threats of Shane Watteyne and Greg Dittman can run and throw the ball.
The Spartan program had a great season, no question about it. It will be one of those "what if" moments. Millard North benefitted from it. East ran into the same problem Norfolk did last month while in Lincoln and playing Southeast. Game delayed the rest of the night on October 3, and rightfully so (there was a tornado to the south and east of Lincoln, near Hickman and Bennet). The game was made up two days later and Southeast bounced back to win 26-20 in overtime.
I guess Mother Nature likes to move in whenever she wants and spoil all the fun. She's kind of like a bully, in a way.
I did not write up a story on the Burke/Southeast game Friday night (a little frazzled by the delay and long hours in Omaha). But some things to talk about that game include one of the most bizarre plays I've seen, ever.
Burke had the ball in the second quarter and a 10-3 lead, when Logan Gier got the carry and had the ball stripped out of his hands by Southeast's Hunter Pritchard at the Knight 45-yard line. As the ball was loose on the field, Burke's Trey Carr scooped the ball up and ran 43-yards for a touchdown.
It seemed almost certain that Southeast was in a position to jump on the ball, but it got loose and Carr took advantage of it.
It was one of those moments where you look at the person next to you and say, "What was that?"
Ultimately, that fumble recovery and score sealed the deal for Burke.
Our Class A portion of the football playoffs are done for 2013. East, Southeast and Lincoln Southwest qualified but had early exits. There's next year to look forward to and whether the talent pool will still be rich enough to be competitive with the Metro and out-state teams, like Grand Island.
Lincoln Christian's season is still going. The Crusaders go into the C1 quarterfinal Wednesday night at 6pm against a familiar foe from just two weeks ago, Falls City.
The Tigers have a unique offense, where there is no definitive quarterback and they love to run the football.
Christian's offense is a mix of pass and run. That's what carried them to eight wins this year and look for them to do the same Wednesday. We'll have the game on LincolnPrepSports.com.
Basketball Season is around the corner
Again, if you haven't checked our broadcast schedule for the upcoming basketball season, go to the "Broadcast Schedule" page and see when your school is going to be covered.