Friday Night Lights 2014, Week 8

My dad and I did not think there were any high school games nearby. City High played Washington at Kingston Stadium last night, Regina and Cedar Rapids Xavier were playing at Xavier (like hell we were driving that far to see the Regals), West Branch was traveling to Wilton, and Lone Tree was playing at Danville. We assumed the only local high school playing at home was Iowa City West.

“We can go out to West,” I told my dad over the phone this afternoon. After a long pause he said, “It’s up to you.”

There were apparently no other options and I wanted to see a game. Despite anything I may have said in the past about not wanting to go to West High for a game, I honestly do not care any more. I would totally go to Trojan Field to see a football game. It would not be my first choice, but I would watch the Trojans, my Iowa City public school brethren. Tonight they played Davenport North, and, for a moment, I was actually eager to head to the west side of town for a little football, green and gold style. Then…

“Oh, wait. Vinton-Shellsburg at Clear Creek,” dad said, reading from the P-C. “Clear Creek-Amana is playing at home.”

“Let’s go to that game!”

Alas, Trojan Field will need to wait until the playoffs or next year. (Trojan Field is the only Johnson County high school stadium I have yet to feature in my Friday Night Lights posts.)

With a 6-1 overall record and 5-0 in their district, the CC-A Clippers clinched their district title last week with a 27–0 beat-down of Davenport Assumption. CC-A has been a football doormat seemingly forever, so it s a very nice surprise that they have done so well this season. Tonight they faced the Vinton-Shellsburg Vikings, who were 1-6 on the season. We only planned to stay until halftime, but I expected to see some fireworks. If they happened, they did so after we left.

It was a very cool night, made colder by a west wind. It was Triclimate and stocking hat weather, baby! Everyone had coats, hats, and blankets. It was not as cold as it was two weeks ago at Xavier, but it was relatively chilly. Before the game, the students paid tribute to a deceased classmate with pink balloons and poetry.

After entering the stadium to “Welcome to the Jungle,” the Clippers kicked off to begin the game. The Vikings, in their Steelers/Hawkeyes-like jerseys, moved the ball down the field, and were helped by an unnecessary roughness penalty. The Vikings running back was basically body slammed after the Clippers stopped him short of the line to gain on third down. Ultimately, it did not hurt the Clippers because they forced the Vikings to punt.

CC-A slowly moved the ball down the field and eventually kicked a field goal to take the lead, 3–0. After that, the game really slowed. Both teams moved the ball, but there was no more scoring in the half. CC-A drove the ball inside the V-S 10, but a holding penalty and sack pushed them back to the 30. The Clippers pooch kicked on fourth down. The Vikings took over and slowly, slowly, slowly pounded the ground into Clippers territory. V-S ran a read-option offense and seemed to have only three or four plays. The QB either handed it off to the up back, the tail back, or kept it himself for a run or rollout pass. They also mixed in a reverse. Though they gained yardage, the Vikings offense was not a thing of beauty, much like their professional brethren in Minnesota. The Vikings eventually punted, pinning the Clippers on their own 3-yard line. CC-A ran a couple plays but the drive ended at halftime and my old man and I headed out.

After leaving the stands, my dad said to me, “My ass is frozen!”

Perhaps the best thing about the game were the one-liners spoken by the two women and a little girl sitting behind us. When the little girl asked her mom what a penalty was, mom replied, trying to relate it to her daughter, “A penalty is when you do something wrong and lose screen time.” A little bit later, the two women were talking about how cold it was at the game. One had brought a sleeping bag. “I bet it’s a Minnesota sleeping bag,” one said. “It is a Minnesota sleeping bag!” the other replied. Later, after the little girl covered herself with the sleeping bag, she said, “I’m like a chicken that’s already been cooked!” Listening to them was more entertaining than the game.

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