BY RANDY McROBERTS, firstname.lastname@example.org
1:45 PM EDT, September 4, 2012
And so it begins.
Yes, it actually began Friday night, the first of 10 straight weeks that high school football will occupy a night of the week, and yours truly will be found on one sideline or another.
Well, there may be one Friday night I miss, but the others, not so much. That includes the annual Thursday night games in the middle of October, due to Maryland teachers convention issues.
Anyway, my first week was spent on the turf sideline of Edgewood High School, where I figured I might see a pretty good game between the host Rams and the Aberdeen Eagles.
After watching Aberdeen score on its first possession and then have Edgewood fumble away its first two offensive possessions, I thought my pre-game thoughts were for not. A 20-0 Aberdeen lead in the second quarter made me start thinking about a running clock in the second half. That happens in high school football when one team is down by 35 points or more in the second half.
Edgewood, though, stepped up and made a game of it. Even when the 20-7 lead grew back to 20 at 27-7, there was no quit in the Rams. There was no quit in the stands either.
It was a good night for a good football game. The game wasn't perfect. Aberdeen seemed to have its biggest issues on point-after attempts. Not enough players on the field, illegal substitution penalties, etc. You know what though? Eric Whitti, the Aberdeen kicker, made good on three of his four kicks.
Edgewood? I've already explained their early game issues, but persistence pays off. No, the comeback by the Rams didn't send the hometown faithful home with a win, but it did give, I hope, a real reason for optimism.
The fact is this, both teams had plenty to worry about Friday night and both had reason to leave the field with a good feeling about moving on to week two. I don't recall any major injuries and there were no unsportsmanlike penalties that resulted in an ejection which means a game suspension.
The crowd, a rather large crowd that wasn't unexpected due to opening day and nice weather, was well behaved and supportive of both teams. Let's hope that this can be repeated throughout this season in all our stadiums and playing fields.
I have to offer my condolences to Harford Tech football coach and personal friend Johnny Watson, who lost his mother last week due to a auto accident in South Carolina. I did not know Johnny's mother, but can only assume she was good person in what I've come to know in Johnny himself. Our prayers continue for Johnny and his entire family during this most difficult time.